Iris and DDB UK follow with seven nominations each. Last year's Best Agency of the Year award winner, Saatchi & Saatchi X, which has been shortlisted four times this year, is fighting to hold on to its crown against Elvis, The Big Kick and VCCP.
The shortlist for the Best Breakthrough Agency includes Bamboo Marketing Communications, Lady Geek, Table 19 and The Market.
The remaining winners will be decided by marketing experts, with the client-judging panel headed by Marc Michaels, director of direct and relationship marketing and evaluation at the COI, and the creative judging panel chaired by Emma Perkins, creative director at Saatchi & Saatchi X.
Scott Knox, managing director of the MAA, said: "This year will mark the 21st year of the Best Awards and, in my view, marketing in the UK at the moment really is the best in the world. It is truly testament to these agencies that the calibre of work has improved yet again."