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About us

Finding a better way

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

Established in 2003, PHD Manchester is part of a global network of 80+ offices and part of Omnicom Media Group, working with local, national and international clients.

Our planning-centric approach, coupled with the buying power we offer through Omnicom Media Group’s centralised negotiation point OPera, has attracted a diverse range of clients which include AG Barr, Manchester City Football Club, Crown Paints, carwow, Bentley and Sainsbury’s Bank.

In 2016, PHD was named Media Agency of the Year at the Media Week Awards, Agency of the Year by Marketing Week, the 4th Best Media Agency in the World by Warc and the UK’s 25th Best Company to work for by The Sunday Times.

Brilliant media thinking is in our DNA. A culture of thought-leadership, creativity and innovation has seen us grow from a challenger brand to become the most acclaimed media agency in the UK.

We combine the latest industry insight with the best creative minds to produce planning innovation and create award-winning work across our diverse client base.

Finding a better way is our ethos and sums up how we approach everything we do.

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 Story

PHD was founded in London in 1990 by David Pattison, Nick Horswell and Jonathan Durden; the ‘P’, the ‘H’ and the ‘D’.

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 of 80+ offices still leading the way in the evolution of communications planning around the world.

Read more about our heritage at

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