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About us

PHD | Make the Leap

Welcome to PHD – the most acclaimed media planning and buying agency in the UK.

Welcome to PHD UK.

We’re a media agency.

We plan, buy and measure media.

Today, media goes way beyond the paid advertising channels that have previously defined it.

Media is anything that can connect a brand to a target audience.

That means we now have the capabilities and resources to help clients of all sizes utilise the full gamut of channels available to them to do just that.

Connect with their target audiences.

(Click here to see the services we offer)

We have challenged the expectations of what a media agency can deliver since our formation almost 30 years ago.

We were founded as the first planning-led media agency.

That means brilliant media thinking is in our DNA.

Our relentless focus on the craft of media planning and a culture of thought-leadership, creativity and innovation have helped us grow from being a punky start-up to become a Top 5 agency in the UK – and be named the UK’s ‘Media Agency of the Year’ EIGHT times this decade.

PHD UK is also part of a growing global network which has more than 6,000 employees in over 100 offices across the world.

Part of a powerful family

We have world-class purchasing power to meet the needs of our clients of all sizes.

Being part of Omnicom Media Group (OMG) gives us world-class purchasing power to meet the needs of our clients of all sizes.

Having access to sophisticated research resources and advanced business intelligence tools through the group allows us to deliver the very best strategic expertise.

This combination of buying clout and superior communications planning credentials means we offer clients a real alternative.

Our People

Our Values

At PHD we value curiosity, courage, openness, creativity and collaboration. Finding people with these qualities is one of our central quests, making us a diverse mix of the most curious, courageous and open people around the world.

Our Story

PHD was founded in London in 1990 by David Pattison, Nick Horswell and Jonathan Durden.

Back then the industry was all about buying; as cheaply and as quickly as possible. But David, Nick and Jonathan believed that consumer insight and media behaviour was just as important. They saw a future where smart thinking and clever planning could help brands influence consumer behaviour more than ever before.

PHD, or Pattison-Horswell-Durden as it was known back then, became the agency that ‘thought before it bought’ and was quickly credited with inventing creative media.

In 2002 PHD – now part of Omnicom – opened its first offices outside of the UK and began to grow the international network.

The formation of PHD’s parent company, Omnicom Media Group, in 2005 meant that PHD’s buying was now powered by one of the world’s largest media holding companies. Clients could now benefit from PHD’s unique approach to media planning, without compromising on the buying.

The founding principles of thought-leadership, creativity and innovation have remained at the heart of the network and today PHD is a global network still leading the way in the evolution of communications planning around the world.

Read more about our heritage at