The Drum Recommends is The Drum’s service to help brands to choose agencies, based on ratings. The Recommends database contains over 64,000 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 disciplines and service levels.

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

Key dates

  • 14 February – Deadline to collect your ratings 
  • Mid-March – Finalists announced 
  • 9 May – Awards (Marriott, Grosvenor Square, London) 
  • 31 May – You must be recommended until at least this date 
  • 31 May – You must have an Recommended membership until at least this date

Why enter?

  • 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 31 May.
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

Writing your entry report

The good news is that there are no reports to write, no work to submit. Simply collect as many ratings as you can via and check your membership is still valid until at least 31 May.

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 service level categories: 

  • Client service 
  • Creativity / Innovation 
  • Strategic thinking 
  • Effectiveness 
  • On time 
  • On budget 

And marketing disciplines: 

  • 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 December 2019.

When will the finalists be announced?

The finalists will be announced here on the website, via social media and on in March.

Members will be notified when the announcement has been made.

When are the results revealed?

Finalists will find out if they have won an award at the annual Awards ceramony in April:

Date: Thursday 9 May 2019

Venue: The Marriott Grosvenor Square, London 

Time: 6.45pm for 7.30pm until 1am 

Dress code: Black tie

The awards ceremony

Date: Thursday 9 May 2019

Venue: The Marriott Grosvenor Square, London

Time: 6.45pm for 7.30pm until 1am

Dress code: Black tie

Elite Table:
£2995 + vat Perfect for client entertainment

  • Sparkling drinks reception
  • First tier seating plan 
  • Welcome speech
  • First served 
  • Three course meal
  • Half a bottle of wine per head
  • Three bottles of champagne
  • A gift 
  • Entertainment
  • Awards Show
  • Dancing and Networking

Standard Table:
Table of 10: £2500 exc. VAT* OR 
Table of 12: £2970 exc. VAT*

  • Sparkling drinks reception
  • Second tier seating plan
  • Welcome speech
  • Three course meal
  • Half a bottle of wine per head
  • Entertainment
  • Awards Show
  • Dancing and Networking

Standard ticket: £275 exc. VAT*

  • Sparkling drinks reception
  • Welcome speech
  • Three course meal
  • Half a bottle of wine per head
  • Entertainment
  • Awards Show
  • Dancing and Networking