Creative businesses wins in APAC rise 18% while media business drops 17%

The APAC creative business has seen an 18% increase in its new business activity, totalling the revenue to US$411 million in the first half of 2018, compared to US$293 million last year. The figure is attributed to the estimated 3,401 new business wins across 700 agencies globally, revealed a recent R3 study.

Meanwhile, media business in the region has decreased in both new business wins and revenue for first half of 2018. This saw media agency new business wins and revenue falling by 2.3% and 17% respectively. The overall wins fell from 789 last year to 772 this year.

Based on R3’s analysis, nine of the top 10 markets in APAC saw increases in terms of new business revenue in the first half of 2018 with China in the lead with a 20% increase year-on-year (yoy). Leo Burnett’s January win of the Abbott Nutrition business and DDB’s win of the Royal Caribbean account picked up as two of the top creative wins for China.

In addition, Zenith, PHD and BAIC Group brought in three media wins for China. Singapore took the fourth spot in the list bringing in US$42 million business revenue first half of this year. The only market in the top 10 that saw a yoy decrease was Australia, where new business revenue fell from US$62 million to US$60 million.

On the holding company level, WPP held the top position in the table in terms of new business revenue despite slight decreases in both number of wins and revenue this year. Dentsu topped the overall number of wins with 620 compared to 539 in first half of 2017. WPP’s Ogilvy brought in over US$80 million, leading the top creative agencies table in APAC. This figure is attributed to the notable wins such as Changi Airport in Singapore and project-based businesses such as Brit China and Mango TV China.

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In addition, Publicis Groupe saw the most yoy improvement in terms of both revenue and number of deals. Its new business revenue was up 165%, from US$45 million in 2017 to US$119 million first half of this year, and had 414 wins this year compared to 269 first half of last year.

On the creative side, Publicis and Leo Burnett were on the second and third positions on the top five agencies table, respectively. Publicis’ significant wins include Swarovski, Master Kong and Haier, while Leo Burnett won Abbott Nutrition, Anchor India and Craveable Brands Australia.

Dentsu’s had a relatively steady yoy, with slight increases in both number of deals and revenue. Carat clocked in as the top media agency in the region, with wins such as the Government of West Australia, Sony Mobile Taiwan, Microsoft’s global business. Dentsu X also made the top five media agency chart, while Isobar came in fifth place on the creative side.

Sabrina Lee, managing director of R3 China, explained several major global creative reviews that included APAC markets helped to drive new business revenue in the region in H1 2018. This comes as clients are moving bigger pieces of business, while also looking for new ways to break through the clutter, particularly in saturated markets such as China, she added.

“The frenzy around transparency that has taken hold in the US hasn’t full manifested in APAC yet. In fact, we’ve seen a decrease in media agency reviews in the first half of 2018, due in large part to previous year’s activities in the region and on-boarding this year," she added.

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