Why The Drum is championing independent agencies in Southeast Asia and why it matters now

The Drum has extended the entry deadline for The Drum Southeast Asia Independent Agency Census until June 6, in order to create a comprehensive guide to the best agencies in the region that are not part of the ‘big six’ agency networks.

You can still enter by following this link and submitting your details.

The Drum has carried out this research in the UK for many years and this is because smaller, un-networked shops can often find it tough to gain awareness. Also, budgets for marketing and new business people are not as easy to justify. On the other side, there are many brands looking for a more boutique offering and many larger firms looking to beef up local capabilities by acquiring or partnering with agencies.

A great example of this is Singapore’s Starhub turning to an indie agency and shunning a long-term relationship with a big agency, albeit the talent it had worked with was leading the new agency.

In a fragmented but fast-growing region like Southeast Asia, getting this information into one place is tough but this is why it’s even more important.

This isn’t intended to suggest that network agencies aren’t a great option, they are going through arguably the toughest time yet too, but they are easier to find and understand.

The Drum, and myself, have now been in Asia Pacific for two years and call Singapore our home away from Glasgow (The Drum’s true home). In that time, we’ve met an incredible and thriving community of independent agencies. It can be disparate, however, due to the region’s geographical spread and diversity. I have often had emails and calls from contacts asking who the best shops are across a variety of expertise; PR, design, digital or creative. This resource is needed and we’re putting our full weight behind it.

However, we need the independent agency community to help and be generous with their information, so we can truly create the picture of the industry that we can all be proud of.

The Drum Southeast Asia Independent Agency Census is free to enter.

If you have any questions prior to entry, you can contact Olivia Denman in The Drum's research team by email or by calling +44203 002 5848

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