By Emily Tan

Four Asia-Pacific agencies have made it into Recma’s November ranking of the world’s top 10 most competitive media agencies: UM Malaysia (No. 1), Carat China (No. 6), Maxus India (No. 7) and Carat Hong Kong (No. 8).

Recma’s Network Diagnostics report is based on the research company’s qualitative evaluation of agencies in 45 countries across four key categories: compitches (competitive pitches), momentum, resources and client profile. The report was based on three periods (August 2014, March 2014 and August 2013) and points were weighted based on the country’s sizes and advertiser priorities.

According to Recma’s last published global rankings in August, which analysed 900 agencies, UM Malaysia stood on par with ZenithOptimedia France with 26 points. Since then, Recma has informed UM Malaysia that following an update on the Malaysian market, UM had gained one qualitative point, making it the world’s top ranked agency and the first to receive the highest qualitative score of 27 points.

Global rankings

Rank Country Agency Total points
1 Malaysia UM Malaysia 27
2 France ZenithOptimedia 26
3 Germany MediaCom 25
4 Germany MEC 23
5 UK MEC 23
6 China Carat 22
7 India Maxus 21
8 Denmark MediaCom 21
9 Hong Kong Carat 21
10 USA Carat 20

Source: Recma

Overall, only 25 agencies in the world were given a ‘Dominant’ profile by the research company. After ZenithOptimedia France, the next highest ranked was MediaCom Germany with 25 points, followed by MEC Germany and MEC UK with 23 points. The data from the report was provided to Campaign Asia-Pacific by Mediabrands, but confirmed as accurate by Recma.

In Asia-Pacific, UM Malaysia’s closest competitor was Carat China with 22 points, followed by Carat Hong Kong with 21 points and Maxus India with 21 points. Mindshare China, ZenithOptimedia China, OMD Australia and Starcom MediaVest Philippines, all with 20 points, also received the “Dominant” designation in the region.

Asia-Pacific Rankings

Rank Country Agency Total points
1 Malaysia UM Malaysia 27
2 China Carat 22
3 India Maxus 21
4 Hong Kong Carat 21
5 China Mindshare 20
6 China ZenithOptimedia 20
7 Australia OMD 20
8 Philippines Starcom 20

Source: Recma

UM Malaysia is led by Prashant Kumar, president of IPG Mediabrands World Markets Asia. Since 2008, it has grown from a team of 28 to a full-service agency of 240. The agency reports that 50 per cent of its overall revenues now stem from diversified service offerings such as social-media outfit Rally, e-commerce arm Ingenuity and data-management platform Sixth Sense.

According to Recma, UM Malaysia’s lead position worldwide is effective immediately but will only be reflected on Recma’s site in the next full Network Diagnostic report, scheduled for publication around early March.