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If there was ever a year of the small agency, it’s 2019. Marketers are under the gun to prove ROI and are actively seeking solutions beyond giant agencies owned by sprawling holding companies. These companies are looking for the fresh thinking, versatility and nimbleness that small shops bring, and marketers as huge as Procter & Gamble have been making room on their rosters for small agencies with big ideas.

Each year, the Ad Age Small Agency Awards uncover and honor small, independent agencies that are producing innovative and exciting work. These teams strategize and execute groundbreaking ideas to compete with work done by some of advertising's oldest, largest and most sought-after partners. New this year, we are adding two experiential categories to help recognize the small shops who continue to push boundaries and create effective experiential brand campaigns. 

The competition is tough, but the reward is big. Winners are announced and celebrated at our Small Agency Conference & Awards, to be held in July 2019. View last year's winners.

The final deadline to enter was April 30 at 5pm EST. 

Finalists will be notified mid-June.

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Agency of the Year: Overall 
Regional, international and size winners do not need to enter separately or pay an extra fee They are chosen from the entrants to the Agency of the Year category

Agency of the Year: by Size. Awarded in three size categories: 1-10, 11-75, 76-150

Agency of the Year: Regional 
Awarded for the Southeast, Southwest, Midwest, West, Northeast and Northwest Regions of the U.S.

Agency of the Year: International
Awarded to international entrants who enter the Agency of the Year category

Experiential Agency of the Year NEW!

Campaign of the Year: Experiential NEW!

​​​Campaign of the Year: Integrated

Campaign of the Year: Digital

Campaign of the Year: Pro Bono

Campaign of the Year: B-to-B

Best Agency Culture

Agencies may win in more than one category. We award gold and silver in all categories.

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Entry is open to agencies in three size categories:

•    1-10 people
•    11-75 people
•    76- 150 people

All agencies of all marketing disciplines are eligible to enter. Entrants must be majority-independent owned, or in other words, at minimum, 51% privately-held. Agencies who are not eligible are those who are either majority or fully-backed by a holding company (by this we mean firms like WPP, Omnicom Group, Publicis Groupe, Interpublic Group of Cos., Havas, Aegis or MDC Partners) or other firm, such as a publisher, marketer, etc.

Experiential Agency of the Year will award one gold and one silver agency with 150 employees or fewer. 

Dates for submitted work

When discussing revenue/growth for the Small Agency of the Year award you should refer to 2018 financials and staff headcounts, giving as much guidance as possible for 2019 business. As far as submitting examples of work, all work done between January 1, 2018, and March 1, 2019 is eligible.

FAQ and guidelines

Entry fees

•    Agency of the Year: 1-10 Employees: $250

•    Agency of the Year: 11-75 Employees: $295

•    Agency of the Year: 76-150: $350

•    Experiential Agency of the Year: $295

•    Campaign of the Year - Experiential: $295

•    Campaign of the Year - Integrated: $295

•    Campaign of the Year - Digital: $295

•    Campaign of the Year - B-to-B: $295

•    Campaign of the Year - Pro-Bono: $295

•    Best Agency Culture: $295

Final Deadline 

April 30, 2019 at 5pm EST


Here’s what you’ll need for:

Agency of the Year & Experiential Agency of the Year
Campaign of the Year 
Agency Culture 

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Got questions? We're happy to help.

Award Inquiries:  aaevents@adage.com