The Drum Recommends is The Drum’s service to help brands to choose agencies, based on ratings. The Recommends database contains over 72,000 ratings left by brands. 

Each year we download the ratings from the database to identify which agencies are the highest-rated by clients, and recognise those agencies via The Drum Recommends Awards. These awards are one of a kind in the industry – there are no entries to submit, no papers to write. Winning can only be achieved through the high regard of clients, demonstrated with ratings on 

We can then help brands to quickly identify the best agencies across a number of performance levels and agency services.

To participate in the awards, you must become a member on, and request your clients to rate your agency and services.

Key dates

  • 3 March – Deadline to collect your ratings 
  • 21 April – Finalists announced 
  • 12 May – Virtual awards ceremony 
  • 30 June – You must be recommended until at least this date 
  • 30 June – You must be a member of The Drum Recommends until at least this date
  • 21 April - Nominations announced
  • 12 May (4PM GMT) - Virtual awards ceremony

Why enter?

The Drum Recommends Awards inform clients of the very best recommended agencies for the specific services they are looking for. Being nominated or awarded is a significant mark of credibility for your agency.

  • ​Your agency will feature on the awards listing page on The Drum website. 
  • Award winners will have a logo on their The Drum Recommends profile page and search pages, showing clients that their work has been recognised. 

  • Finalists and winners get awards logos to use on their marketing. 

  • Promotions go to brands, drawing their attention to the finalist agencies.

How much does it cost to enter?

There are no entry fees. The awards are part of the membership package and included in the cost. Agencies will be considered for all the services they are rated on. 

How to enter?

There is no need to enter work, it's all based on client ratings. You must be a recommended agency until at least 30 June.
Request your clients to rate you to extend your recommended expiry.
Not recommended? To become a recommended agency, you must have 3 or more ratings above an average of 7 for one service. Register or login here

Start or renew your membership by contacting

Tips for success

  • Ask your clients to rate all the services you provide - then you'll be considered in more categories
  • Ask your clients to take the time to expand on their rating with a comment 
  • The awards ratings are weighted, with higher weighting going to agencies with more ratings, so the more ratings you have, the higher your score will be

How the results be judged?

After the deadline we download ratings from all The Drum Recommends member agencies and use the data to find the top-rated agencies. The awards are split into three sizes of customer group; 0-40 staff, 40-99 staff and 100+ staff. 

Categories are split into performance level categories: 

  • Client service 

  • Creativity / Innovation 

  • Strategic thinking 

  • Effectiveness 

  • On time 

  • On budget 

And agency services: 

  • Advertising 

  • Brand Strategy 

  • Corporate Communications 

  • CRM & Data Design 

  • Direct Marketing 

  • Events 

  • Market Research 

  • Media Buying 

  • Packaging Design 

  • Print Production 

  • Promotional Marketing 

  • Public Relatings 

  • TV/Video/Audio Production 

Please note the Digital Awards take place in October 2021