Gabey Goh
Mar 21, 2016

Singapore EDB picks Havas, Hakuhodo, Doremus and TSLA

SINGAPORE - After a five-month pitch process, the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) has selected its agency partners for Germany, Japan, North America and Singapore.

Singapore EDB picks Havas, Hakuhodo, Doremus and TSLA

The selected lead agencies and their proposed consortia will be appointed with effect from 1 April on a three-year contract, with the option to extend by another two years.

  • Germany: Havas Worldwide Duesseldorf
  • Japan: Hakuhodo Incorporated Japan (lead agency), with Hakuhodo Singapore
  • North America: Doremus & Company (lead agency), with Ketchum
  • Singapore: TSLA Industries (lead agency), with ZenithOptimedia Singapore and Allison + Partners Singapore

The scope involves helping EDB, a statutory board of the Singapore government, promote the country as an attractive business location and advancing its domestic marketing efforts.

Myrna Poon

“We look forward to building strong partnerships with these agencies and are confident that we will be able to effectively and efficiently achieve our business and marketing objectives in all four markets,” said Myrna Poon, executive director of marketing and communications at EDB.

Launched in September 2015, the process included two tenders issued, one for the three international markets, and one for Singapore. According to information provided on GeBiz,the requisite vendor capacity grade for the tender was listed as SG$3 million (US$2.2 million). The retainer value of the contracts, were not disclosed.

EDB received responses from 40 agencies in total, including proposals from Dentsu, Edelman, Publicis, Sapient, Golin, McCann Erikson, MRM Worldwide, GroupM, Possible Worldwide, M&C Saatchi and TBWA, of which 14 were shortlisted for the final round, and four were eventually selected.

It is understood amongst that shortlisted agencies in the final round of consideration for the Singapore business included TBWA, BBH, Publicis and Hakuhodo.

Speaking to Campaign Asia-Pacific, an agency executive who participated in the pitch process but declined to be named shared that, while a long process, what made this pitch interesting was the emphasis by both client and R3 that there was no need for network alignment for the consortiums.

"It's usually expected that agencies coming in would collaborate within their networks but the client was very clear from the start that it was to be a people-powered pitch, they didn't care so much about network alignment, and you could see that from how many of the agencies came in," the executive said. "I thought it was quite progressive of the client to do so."

TSLA CEO Nicholas Ye, whose agency was awarded the domestic portion of the account, said the Singapore business brand is one of the country's “greatest assets.”

“We at TSLA, ZenithOptimedia and Allison+Partners are excited by this opportunity and continued partnership with EDB to defend, grow and articulate Singapore's value proposition to Singaporeans and to the world," he added in a statement issued to Campaign Asia-Pacific.

EDB's Poon also expressed gratitude to all agencies that submitted proposals, adding that the government agency was “humbled and honoured” by the number of quality submissions received.

Global marketing consultancy R3 Worldwide managed the tender process. Principal and co-founder Shufen Goh described the pitch process as “robust”, adding that the consultancy will continue to work with EDB and the appointed agencies to drive marketing effectiveness.

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