Campaign – At a recent pitch for a creative agency of record for a multinational consumer goods brand in Southeast Asia, over 100 agencies threw their proverbial hats in the ring for a lucrative, but hotly contested business. The board had not changed its creative shop for a few years, and with the pandemic fog lifting, it wanted a fresh perspective on how to rejig its brand.

As agencies balance the push for new business with the need to keep teams well and costs under control, they also need to reckon with the market shifting under their feet, says Shufen Goh, co-founder of R3.

“The economy is in flux with inflation, the threat of recession, and challenges in the supply chain,” she says. “The business outlook is not good enough for anyone to take a backseat. Agencies are facing a highly competitive set of peers, as well as emerging less traditional players, for clients and for talent.”

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