The PR league tables you definitely don't care about

Tomorrow's Business

PR league tables are greeted by flaks the way hacks treat journalism awards. We honestly couldn’t care less. They mean nothing. But we can’t believe they gave it to That Guy! What did he ever do? He’s probably related to the judges. (Marches off in huff, sulks.)

And so to the latest flak leagues from MergerMarket, scroll down to page 6 for the UK bit. Brunswick, Finsbury and FTI predictably dominate, but their positions looks far from unassailable.

Some reactions here from senior flaks, once they’d stopped explaining how the position of their own firm is falsely low/how the other lot cheat/why the tables are flawed (not that they are bothered).

In no particular order:

  • It seems like there are more American names in the tables. Are their brands getting more global? Sard opening London office, Kekst joining CNC etc. Do London firms have to do more than they have so far to react to this?
  • I think it’s mainly about deal count, not value. Unlike banks we never get paid on percentages so size is way less important. I’d rather do 10 £100m deals than one £1bn deal, so I think the tables themselves have less impact than they once did.
  • The numbers last year were skewed by a couple of big-ticket deals - Sky/Comcast/Fox being just one of them.
  • It’s a scorecard, it doesn’t mean a lot, but a bit like the bank league tables, we like to appear at or near the top. The more interesting scorecard would be the fees the big PR firms are extracting, some of which are public, from Sky, GKN, Melrose etc.
  • In general, flak land had a good year. Deals and fees are broadly up.
  • They should never have picked that other firm to advise on that deal, what do they know about anything? (Hangs up, sulks).

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