The North West has been raised on the ambitious notion that Manchester is regarded as England's second city and although officially uncrowned, the capital of the North is well deserving of this title. With a rich history and modern culture that’s easy to access and explore throughout its myriad of museums, galleries, landmarks and tourist hotspots, including the unrivalled home of shopping the Trafford Centre, Manchester United Football Club’s Old Trafford, Manchester City Football Club’s Etihad Stadium, the Imperial War Museum and famed concert hall Manchester Arena to name but a few. Pleasure seeking is what makes Manchester so much fun: dine, drink and dance yourself to oblivion in this city full of character and charm.
Manchester’s MediaCity continues to expand and is proudly home to some of the country’s best creative agencies and TV channels, including the BBC and ITV. It has an exceptionally strong PR agency scene along with an up and coming e-commerce business hub, housing the likes of Boohoo.com and Missguided.co.uk. The Prolific North Awards is the biggest gathering of marketing and media professionals outside of London, taking place in central Manchester once a year, scoring the region the undeniable title of second city as far as marketing, advertising and PR is concerned!
Manchester has traditionally been acknowledged as the UK's second hub for media activities outside London for over a century. The establishment and growth of the Manchester Guardian into a national newspaper was steadily mirrored by the development of Manchester as the main editorial, commercial and printing base outside London of that other national newspapers. At its height in the fifties, Maxwell House as it was then known, was the largest newspaper printing operation in the whole of Europe. And then following print media came broadcast media and Granada made a name for itself as the most successful commercial TV station in the world according to the US trade magazine Channels. The content and commercial success led Granada to acquire London Week End TV and although today now a par of the broader ITV franchise, the Manchester base of ITV employs over 1,000 people and remains by some distance the biggest commercial base outside London for ITV. And the arrival of the BBC and currently over 3.200 staff in Salford has resulted in yet another huge boost for the city's broadcasting aspirations which in turn is being complemented by several major national and international broadcast suppliers, from dock10 and SIS to Ericsson.
Media buying has been a great strength for the Manchester agencies for many years and it's estimated that well over half of all media buying outside London is handled by Manchester agencies and media, ranging from the two WPP agencies MediaCom and MEC to Dentsu Aegis (the UK's second biggest digital media buyer!) and others such as Google. Overall it's estimated that towards £2bn of media 'space' annually is booked through Manchester agencies and media companies.
Beyond broadcast and media, Manchester is also the largest centre outside London for PR and advertising services.