Media shops head 'financial health' league

Two privately owned media agencies, ILG Digital and Brilliant Media, have been awarded top marks for their financial housekeeping in a survey by industry analysts.

The awards, from the research newsletter Marketing Financial Services Intelligence, recognise and encourage good financial performance by marketing services companies.

ILG, the parent company of the digital specialist i-level, and the Leeds-based Brilliant, were awarded eight so-called "Plums" for meeting a range of financial criteria.

Bob Willott, the newsletter's editor, said both shops' rise up the rankings - ILG held 17th spot last year and Brilliant was 15th - showed revenue opportunities for media specialists.

"These agencies appear to be relying less on traditional treasury management," he added. "Their success bears out the evidence that they are adapting to media fragmentation better than pure creative agencies."

ILG's award comes nine months after hiring David Pattison, the former chief executive of PHD Worldwide, as group chief executive.

Andrew Walmsley, ILG's founding partner, said: "When we started, we wanted to bring professionalism to new media. That includes the financial controls and rigours you would expect of any good business."

For Brilliant, it marks its recovery from a serious blow two years ago, when it was forced to pay £757,000 in extra tax and related interest charges.

TOP-SCORING PRIVATE PLUMS
Rank Rank Agency Private Plums
2007 2006
1 17 ILG Digital 8
2 15 Brilliant Independent Media Specialists 8
3 1 John Knowles Ritchie1 8
4 3 Mother Holdings1 7
5 10 BLM Holdings 7
6 6 The Sandom Group 7
7 18 Tri-Direct 7
8 12 Naked Communications 7
Note: 1 No more recent accounts available than used for last year's survey. Source: Marketing Financial Services Intelligence.