Staff Reporters
May 5, 2021

Campaign announces Global Agency of the Year winners

Special Group leads APAC-based winners with two big awards. TBWA APAC, UM APAC, half rhino and Hakuhodo's IdeasXMachina Group also feted.

Campaign announces Global Agency of the Year winners

Special Group has been named the Creative Agency of the Year and the Independent Agency of the Year in Campaign's Global Agency of the Year Awards, while TBWA APAC won the 'Best of the Best' award for digital network and UM APAC won the 'Best of the Best' award for media network. 

Other APAC winners include Singapore's half rhino in the consultancy category and IdeasXMachina Group of Hakuhodo, which was not only named the best place to work (individual shop) but also won three people/team awards—for its MD, strategy chief and talent team.

A list of the winners and finalists appears below. You can also download the Global AOY Awards Review book, which goes into detail about the achievements of all of the winning agencies and people.

Launched in 2020, The Global Agency of the Year Awards, run in conjunction with the regional schemes in the AOTY family (such as Campaign Asia-Pacific's Agency of the Year Awards, which are awarded in December). The global AOYs are specifically intended to honour agencies whose achievements are world class, who want their success in their chosen field to be recognised on a global stage and want their performance to be judged alongside other agencies from all corners of the world.

The 'Globals' are open to agencies of any size, shape or flavour, from a single office, boutique, specialist agency anywhere in the world, to a full agency network. The jury was comprised of senior brand marketers drawn from across the globe, and, as with the regional AOTY awards, from diverse backgrounds. 


Best of the Best: Creative Network

  • Winner: VLMY&R US
  • Finalist: TBWA\APAC
  • Finalist: McCann Worldgroup Europe

Best of the Best: Digital Network

  • Winner: TBWA\APAC
  • Finalist: Digitas
  • Finalist: Oliver

Best of the Best: Media Network

  • Winner: UM APAC
  • Finalist: Digitas US
  • Finalist: PHD EMEA

Global Network

  • Winner: Mindshare
  • Finalist: MediaCom
  • Finalist: TBWA\Worldwide
  • Finalist: VMLY&R
  • Finalist: Zenith


Brand Experience Agency

  • Winner: Amplify
  • Finalist: Smyle

Creative Agency

  • Winner: Special Group
  • Finalist: Adam&eveDDB
  • Finalist: BBH Singapore
  • Finalist: Mother
  • Finalist: The Brooklyn Brothers


  • Winner: half rhino

Digital Innovation Agency

  • Winner: R/GA London
  • Finalist: MediaMonks
  • Finalist: Verticurl
  • Finalist: We Are Social

Independent Agency

  • Winner: Special Group
  • Finalist: Lightning Orchard
  • Finalist: Manifest
  • Finalist: Mother
  • Finalist: Switching-Time
  • Finalist: We Are Pi

In-house Agency

  • Winner: U-Studio for Unilever
  • Finalist: Creative X

Media Agency

  • Winner: UM
  • Finalist: Dentsu X

Performance Marketing Agency

  • Winner: Croud

PR Agency

  • Winner: FleishmanHillard
  • Finalist: Red Havas
  • Finalist: Hill+Knowlton Strategies
  • Finalist: PRIXM | IDEASXMACHINA Group of Hakuhodo
  • Finalist: Sunny Side Up Group
  • Finalist: Switching-Time


Account Leader

  • Winner: Edge "Eggsy" Montero, managing director, IDEASXMACHINA Group of Hakuhodo

Agency Leader

  • Winner: Philippa Brown, worldwide chief executive officer, PHD
  • Finalist: Third Domingo, chief executive officer, IDEASXMACHINA Group of Hakuhodo
  • Finalist: Jonathan Emmins, founder, Amplify
  • Finalist: Sunil John, president, Middle East of BCW and founder, ASDA'A BCW
  • Finalist: Eileen Kiernan, chief executive Officer, UM

Strategic Planning Leader

Winner: Jade "Jedd" Ilagan, Research and Strategy Director, IDEASXMACHINA Group of Hakuhodo

Talent Management Person / Team

  • Winner: IDEASXMACHINA Group of Hakuhodo

Global Diversity and Inclusion Initiative

  • Winner: We Are Social

Best Place to Work: Individual Shop

  • Winner: IDEASXMACHINA Group of Hakuhodo

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