Singapore Tourism Board shortlists agencies for global advertising review

A shortlist has been drawn up for what is probably the most high profile advertising pitch of the year in Singapore.

Singapore Tourism Board

Singapore Tourism Board has shortlisted four contenders out of a long-list of nine participants for a global creative, digital and production pitch called in July.

DDB, Ogilvy & Mather, TBWA and Comwerks have made the next round, Mumbrella understands.

On the original list of nine to file proposals was a consortium of two agencies led by Saatchi & Saatchi, another consortium of five agencies called Ad Planet Group, Publicis, Leo Burnett and Dentsu.

Comwerks submitted the most competitive proposal, with creative, digital and production for two years priced at S$5,075,686 (US$3,592,885). Publicis Singapore was the priciest, at close to S$9 million.

Incumbent agencies J. Walter Thompson, which took on the account from BBH two years ago, and digital sibling Mirum – formerly XM Asia – pulled out of the running. In a joint statement sent out on the day Singapore went to the polls, the agencies described STB’s business as a “stimulating account” and their tenure on the business “enjoyable.”

Singapore Tourism Board did not confirm the agencies on the shortlist for the tender, which it describes as “open”. The government body stated: “STB will release information on the agency appointment on the completion of our open tender process.”

The review is being run by Roth Observatory, which was hired just over a year ago to manage STB’s agency relationships.

Media is not part of the review. MEC’s contract has been extended until March 2017.

Caroline Wozniacki's hazy video for STB

STB’s hazy video featuring Caroline Wozniacki

Singapore tourism is weathering a tough period. Though spend per visitor is up, tourism visits are down, a problem exacerbated by poor air quality caused by burning of peat forest land in neighbouring Indonesia.

A video STB released in social media today featuring tennis start Caroline Wozniacki to promote Singapore and the WTA Finals later this month is not helped by visibly bad air quality in the background.

Earlier this year, the boss of a Singapore-based independent agency suggested that falling tourism numbers was partly a result of the government body using a agency headquartered overseas and not a local player. STB’s assistant chief executive, marketing group, Lynette Pang said the decline in visitor numbers was largely to do external factors such as currency movements and economic conditions in major source countries.

STB launched a $20 million marketing campaign to ramp up activity in key local markets in May.


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella Asia newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing