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October 2017

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  • Interview: Grant Mansfield
    Hiring top talent and investing heavily in development have been key to growing his Bristol indie Plimsoll Productions, says founder Grant Mansfield
  • The clear view: lenses
    What ever genre you work in, you need to be lens savvy. Here three DoPs guide us through the lens market, picking out the models they like to use in drama and factual
  • Over the top
    The growth of Netflix and Amazon is proving a boon for UK indies, but broadcasters are starting to panic. Tim Dams reports
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Commercials 30 2011 Back to Reports & survey Listing

Welcome to Televisual’s Commercials 30, our annual survey of the UK’s commercials production sector.

The view from commercials producers this time is overwhelmingly that the past year has been “tough,” “competitive” and “challenging” to put it mildly. Economic uncertainty has led to risk averse clients and agencies unwilling to put their money into the sort of standout advertising this sector is more than capable of supplying, given the chance. But then this isn’t the first year the economy’s been in recession, and it’s not the first time that commercials producers have grasped that clients are spreading their marketing dollar across a wider range of outlets. Commercials production companies are now much more resilient beasts after several lean years, and the signs are that they’re now very willing, and very capable, of chasing that marketing dollar wherever it may go. 

How the commercials 30 works
Every year, we send survey forms out to the UK’s commercials production companies and ask them a series of questions both about their own businesses and the state of the sector in general. Their answers go on to help form the rankings you see in the top 30 list on the following pages. Their answers also allow us to chart the highs and lows of the sector as a whole. The figures provided allow us to map the financial fortunes of the business, from the rise and fall of the average turnover to whether, or rather how much, budgets are falling. As well as finding the big numbers, the survey also allows us to track how commercials production companies are thinking and feeling about the business, and what they see as the main issues affecting the sector now and what will be the issues in the years to come. It also gives commercials producers the chance to celebrate creativity and excellence in their industry by voting for the rival production companies, agencies, post houses, editors and vfx stars they see as deserving of the recognition.

For a place in the Top 30, a commercials production outfit is ranked across five criteria – its showing at eight award shows (Cannes Lions, Clios, Kinsale Sharks, D&ADs, British Arrows, Creative Circle Awards, New York Festivals and the APA Collection), its standing among its peers, the number of directors on its roster, the number of ads it’s made and whether it houses one of the survey’s most voted for directors or whether it made one of the survey’s most voted for ads. Each company’s best three scores then go forward to create its final total.

The average turnover of a commercials production company
The average budget for a 30-second ad
The average number of ads a production 
company made in the last year
The average number of directors on a production company roster
of the average production company’s work was made for UK agencies
of production companies’ work came direct from a client rather than an agency
of production companies said budgets fell this year. 23.3% said they’d risen. 

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