Staff Reporters
Feb 2, 2023

40 Under 40 2022: Oliver Budgen, Bud

Budgen has managed to build an indie PR outfit through carving a niche offering, making strategic hires, and cultivating a healthy workplace culture.

40 Under 40 2022: Oliver Budgen, Bud
Proven leaders with path-breaking expertise 

Oliver Budgen

Founder and CEO

Opening a PR agency just before the Covid pandemic hit might not have been the most brilliant idea. But since then, Oliver Budgen has been able to grow Bud’s net revenue by 140% in 2021, and by 70% in 2022, achieving 45 new client wins without a single pay cut or redundancy.

He has built Bud’s regional capabilities through strategic hires and upskilling the existing team. As a result, in 2022, the agency expanded its offerings to several new markets, including the Philippines, Australia and Malaysia, with over 90% of clients having a regional remit. Agency clients expanded into fintech, gaming, cybersecurity and ecommerce categories.

Budgen has hired a diverse team of storytellers, content creators, strategists and PR professionals from various industries, ethnicities and nationalities. The agency currently has more than seven nationalities among the team of 16. He has implemented a staff engagement tool to measure team engagement and job satisfaction, while establishing a culture and wellness team and encouraging co-creation initiatives.  

He has also partnered with the mental health therapy platform SafeSpace, ensuring all his staff have anonymous access to therapy sessions. Budgen arranged for every employee to pack their WFH desk with whatever they needed to create a conducive work environment.

Generous with his time for a good cause, Budgen has offered Bud’s PR services pro bono for Distillery’s Diversity Type Project to raise awareness of diversity issues within the creative industry. Bud ran a two-month awareness campaign, resulting in broad press coverage in the trade media. Then, for International Women's Day, Budgen offered pro bono PR consulting for women entrepreneurs on their business’ comms strategy and branding.

When not working or raising awareness of diversity issues, Budgen is an obsessive home cook  and once hosted a six-course dinner for 120 people at a Singapore restaurant for a TV competition.

Proven leaders with path-breaking expertise 


Campaign Asia

Related Articles

Just Published

5 hours ago

Publicis employee who lost her parents to opioids ...

Emily Deschamps shares her personal story with Campaign US to highlight the dangers of marketing in sensitive categories in hopes of inspiring change.

5 hours ago

Debunking TikTok’s ‘mystery virus’ trend spreading ...

TikTokers describe symptoms like sore throat and cough — but claim they’re testing negative for flu, Covid and RSV. Experts say speculation about a 'mystery virus' could be misleading.

5 hours ago

Want to reach women? Put your brand safety fears aside

To reach female consumers, marketers must take a hard look at what content they deem unsafe and what keywords, topics or products they avoid.

18 hours ago

Dentsu appoints new president and chief strategy ...

Narayan Devanathan who rejoined Dentsu in June 2023 after he vacated his role as the Group's chief client officer in August 2022, now takes on a new regional remit.