Small Holdings Companies

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Top Small Creative And Branding Companies: Part 1

While extensive research revealed there is limited information available publicly to fully address the question, we've used the available data to pull together the following key findings: WPP Plc, Interpublic Group of Companies Inc., Omnicom Group's, BBDO’s, and Ariel Group are some top US and UK based creative and branding holding companies.


We began by searching government websites, third-party industries reports and company’s websites for information regarding small creative and branding holding companies. Unfortunately, there were no companies from our findings that fall within the scope of the request after combing through Craft, D&B Hoover, and Business Insider. Majority of the companies we were able to find were large companies branding holding companies whose EBITDA falls above $25 million. Our research team went further by sourcing for companies annual reports; the result of this strategy was not successful as most of these companies were privately held and has not made their annual reports public.

Next, we combed holding companies' database; for the most part, the result from this strategy was referencing result were already have. The list of holding companies from this database were large companies. We were able to check for the companies EBITDA using; none of the companies fall within the EBITDA of $5 million to $25 million.

Following the unavailability of relevant reports regarding the top US or UK-based small creative and branding holding companies utilizing the previous strategies, we resorted to paywall sources for information on small creative and branding holding companies. This strategy was not successful as we were unable to unearth any paywall sources that report small branding holding companies in the United States.


Omnicom Group

Omnicom Group's was founded in 1986; the company headquarters is located in New York, New York. Omnicom Group, Inc. is a holding company, which engages in the management, provision of advertising agencies, and branding and research offering through its Brand Consulting Group. The company is an effective holding company that offers digital and creative services business.
COMPANY EBITDA: The Company has EBITDA of $679 million in 2018.
EMPLOYEE COUNT: Omnicom Group has 62 employees.
TOTAL DEBT: $4,892 million in 2017.
TOTAL ASSETS: $24,617 million in 2017.


WPP is a public company founded in 1985 in London, England. The company is an advertising and public relations firm that provides media investment management, healthcare communications and branding services. Its advertising agency networks, are Grey Worldwide, JWT, Ogilvy & Mather, and Young & Rubicam, they offer creative campaign development and brand management services.
COMPANY EBITDA: WPP Plc has EBITDA of $3,086 million in 2017.
EMPLOYEE COUNT: WPP Plc has 124,930 employees.
TOTAL DEBT: -$9,290 million in 2017.
TOTAL ASSETS: $20,490 million in 2017.

Interpublic Group Of Companies Inc.

The Interpublic Group Of Companies Inc. was founded in 1902; the company headquarters is located in New York. IPG’s is one of the world's largest advertising and marketing services firm that offers consumer advertising, digital marketing, communications planning and media buying. The flagship creative agencies are McCann World group and Lowe & Partners.
COMPANY EBITDA: In 2018, the company has EBITDA of $1,144 million. [S19]
EMPLOYEE COUNT: 175 employees. [S16]
TOTAL DEBT: $3,734 million in 2018. [S19]
TOTAL ASSETS: $15,620 million in 2018.[S19]

BBDO Worldwide Inc.

BBDO is a media conglomerate of Omnicom Group. BBDO Worldwide provides campaign planning and management services, as well as other brand promotion services.
EMPLOYEE COUNT: 10,000 employees.

Ariel Group

EMPLOYEE COUNT: 30 employees.
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Top Small Creative And Branding Companies: Part 2

After reviewing credible sources such as marketing, creating, and branding associations, we were unable to identify five of the top US or UK-based small creative and branding holding companies. However, we were able to discover five of the top US or UK-based companies that have their own branding and digital and creative services. These companies are UBM, Grey, Merkle Inc., the Freeman Company, and Inspired Thinking Group. Below, we have presented a detailed overview of our research strategy, any assumptions we have made, and the findings from our research.


To identify five top US or UK-based small creative and branding holding companies, we initially examined data from marketing, creative, and branding associations in the two nations. These sources include Creative Industries, the Marketing Society, Advertising Association, and the American Marketing Association. Nonetheless, we were unable to find the requested information. Most of the data that we found were industry help resources, blog articles, and news concerning industry services. Next, we performed a press scan using news reports and press releases for information on the top small creative and branding agencies. Still, we were unable to identify any companies that meet all the criteria. The only information we found indicates that most small companies are privately-held and disclose a limited amount of financial data.

Our research also revealed that many small companies have not acquired or do not own branding and digital and creative services businesses. Finally, we explored company databases such as D&B Hoovers, Crunch Base, and Craft. These sources permit visitors to utilize filters to find the businesses they are seeking. However, this research strategy was unsuccessful. Most of the small companies we found do not own or have not acquired digital and branding and creative services businesses. Nevertheless, we discovered five organizations that possess their own branding and digital and creative services.

However, all the companies are private, so their financial information was limited. A probable reason why the requested information is unavailable is that the majority of small companies operate independently or have been acquired by larger businesses.


1) UBM

REVENUE: $1.4 Billion

EMPLOYEE COUNT: Approximately 3,750

COMPANY OVERVIEW: Based in the United Kingdom, UBM is a branding and creative firm that operates in over 20 different nations around the globe. Additionally, UBM owns several branding and digital creative agencies including Canal Energia and Content Marketing Institute. In total, the company has acquired a total of 27 organizations/businesses since its inception.


REVENUE: $750 million

EMPLOYEE COUNT: Between 5,001 and 10,000

COMPANY OVERVIEW: Located in New York, Grey is a marketing and branding business. Grey owns various creative and digital branding firms including Autumn Worldwide, HugDigital, and Maruri Publicidad.


REVENUE: $630 million

EMPLOYEE COUNT: Approximately 7,000

COMPANY OVERVIEW: Founded in the year 1971, Merkle Inc. is a creative agency in the United States. Merkle Inc. owns multiple marketing digital firms including DWA, Amicus Digital, and Filter Digital.


REVENUE: $460 million

EMPLOYEE COUNT: Approximately 7,000

COMPANY OVERVIEW: Based in Dallas, Texas, the Freeman Company is a brand experience firm that provides design and marketing services. The company owns other marketing and design agencies including Fusion Brand Experiences, MDG, and Helios Interactive.



COMPANY OVERVIEW: Located in Birmingham, United Kingdom, Inspired Thinking Group operates as a marketing agency. In the year 2016, Inspired Thinking Group acquired Creator. Meanwhile, in 2018, the company acquired Connect Advertising.


From Part 01
From Part 02
  • "Freeman ( is the world's leading provider of integrated services for face-to-face marketing events, including expositions, conventions, corporate events and exhibits. Customer driven, Freeman offers a total package of solutions to our customers, with a scope of products and services unmatched by the competition."
  • "The company has received numerous awards recognizing outstanding efforts in industry leadership, customer service excellence, creative design, community service, innovation and customer-driven partnerships."
  • "Merkle is the nation's largest and fastest growing independent customer relationship marketing agency. For more than 20 years, Fortune 1000 companies and leading nonprofit organizations have partnered with Merkle to maximize the value of their customer portfolios. "
  • "By combining a complete range of marketing, technical, analytical and creative disciplines, Merkle works with clients to design, execute and evaluate Integrated Customer Marketing programs."
  • "Merkle has acquired 15 organizations. Their most recent acquisition was Filter Digital on Jan 17, 2019."
  • "Merkle has $630M in revenue annually."
  • "With more than 7,000 smart, dedicated people in more than 50 offices around the world, we are still growing at a rate that outpaces the market, with 2017 net revenue of $630 million."
  • "Grey ranks among the world's top advertising and marketing organizations, serving one-fifth of the FORTUNE 500, in 96 countries. Under the banner of "Grey Famously Effective Since 1917," we continue to break new ground in brand experience across every platform and create lasting consumer connections. "
  • "Grey has acquired 19 organizations. Their most recent acquisition was Autumn Worldwide on Oct 29, 2018."
  • "Grey has $750M in revenue annually."
  • "UBM helps organisations make connections, communicate their proposition and do business effectively. They help professional people in more than 20 countries around the world succeed by enabling them to connect with each other and with the markets they serve. "
  • "Their 5,000 expert staff are deeply embedded in the many specialist communities they serve, bringing both an unusual depth of understanding and real know-how. They organise hundreds of live events each year and provide a range of related market-leading digital and print marketing and media products, and they support professional marketers and communicators through their targeting, distribution and monitoring services."
  • "UBM Plc has acquired 27 organizations. Their most recent acquisition was CanalEnergia on Mar 1, 2018."
  • "UBM Plc has $1.4B in revenue annually."
  • "Birmingham based Inspired Thinking Group (ITG) provides services that help marketing departments operate more efficiently by improving their campaign planning, content control and print management."
  • "Inspired Thinking Group has acquired 2 organizations. Their most recent acquisition was Connect Advertising on Aug 2, 2018."