How Nigeria’s Image Merchants Emerged Most Creative PR Agency in the World

TECH DIGEST – The Image Merchants Promotions (IMPR) Limited, publisher of both PRNigeria and Economic Confidential is ranked number one and identified as the most creative PR agency worldwide in 2020 Global Creativity Index (GCI).

The ranking is confirmed by Statista, the leading provider of market and consumer data and the best statistics portal in the world.

The annual index, produced by PRovoke, formerly Holmes Report ranks the most awarded PR campaigns and firms in the world, weighting their impacts, while taking cognisance of their staff size.

In ranking agencies against their peers, the weighted table is segmented along regional lines, producing the top five rankings for North America, EMEA and Asia-Pacific.

Image Merchants, which is not affiliated to any larger PR firm, is also ranked number one in the list of top-weighted PR agencies in Europe, Middle-East and Africa (EMEA).

Founded by award-winning Crisis Communicator, Yushau A. Shuaib, Image Merchants provides PR advisories to the financial sector and critical institutions including military, security, intelligence and response agencies in Nigeria.

Since 2016, IMPR, has consistently won African PR Awards, SABRE Awards and Golden World Awards hosted by African Public Relations Association (APRA) and International Public Relations Association (IPRA) respectively.

The Global Creativity Index reports that “in 2020, the first position title on top weighted PR agencies is taken by a Nigerian firm Image Merchants Promotions Limited, thanks to campaigns for the Nigerian Air Force, Nigeria Communication Commission and Nigerian Customs Service. Finland’s Kurio ranks second, moving up from third in 2019, with Brazil’s Sherlock Communications dropping from second last year to fourth.”

In the third spot is US firm Joy Collective, thanks to its Crown Act campaign for Dove, while Romania’s Rogalski Damaschin moves up from ninth to fifth.

The geographic diversity of the weighted table again stands out. In addition to Image Merchants of Nigeria, Finland, Brazil and Romania in the top five, there are also firms from Australia (CampaignLab), South Africa (Tribeca), Slovakia (Seesame), Singapore (AKA Asia and IN.FOM), Norway (Trigger) and Peru (Orange 360). Three firms from the UK also make the top 15, led by The Romans, up to eighth from 15th last year.

Meanwhile the top of the overall agency table is dominated by global PR networks for their volume of awards.

BCW has taken top spot in the 2020 edition of the Global Creative Index, marking the first time that the WPP PR firm has ranked first in PRovoke’s annual benchmark of creativity in the public relations world.

The ninth edition of the Global Creative Index analyses entries and winners from more than 25 PR, digital and marketing awards programmes from around the world over a 12-month period, up to the 2020 Global SABRE Awards.

The formula takes into account the expansion of ‘public relations’ work across multiple categories at advertising-oriented shows such as the Cannes Lions, although several of these competitions did not take place this year.

BCW’s performance was powered by a range of work from across its global network, including award-winning campaigns for Boehringer Ingelheim, Coca-Cola, Huawei, Lenzing, the NBA and Tencel, with much of the work originating from its Asia-Pacific, EMEA and LatAm markets.

BCW moves up from second in 2019, ahead of Edelman and Ketchum, with just four points separating the top three this year. Edelman jumps from fourth, benefiting from campaigns for Causes for Animals Singapore, Coop, Gerber and Unilever, among others. Ketchum, meanwhile, stays third, supported by campaigns for Gillette, Mastercard and Wendy’s.

Weber Shandwick, which ranked first in 2019 for the fourth time in five years, drops to fourth in 2020, ahead of Ogilvy and Dentsu — neither of which change positions. There is a major leap for Golin, up from 21st last year to seventh in 2020, while FleishmanHillard, H+K Strategies and ICF Next round out the top ten.

Statista: Most creative PR agenciesworldwide weighted by staff size in 2020, according to Global Creative Index

Provoke: Global Creativity Index