Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Advertising agency FCB Malaysia has rebranded as FCB SHOUT, five years after Shaun Tay, co-owner & chief executive Officer, and Ong Shi-Ping, co-owner and chief creative officer acquired FCB’s operations in Malaysia and become 100 percent local owners and operators.
Following its transformation into Malaysia’s challenger agency, the company has developed in all areas, including its brand identity and clientele. This has led to the creation of The Shout Group, a creative holding company, and the renaming of its FCB-affiliated ad agency as FCB SHOUT.
Among FCB SHOUT’s clients are RHB Bank and Resorts World Genting, as well as global and regional names such as Domino’s and Darlie. The agency’s impressive client portfolio is an indication of its success since the buyout, which includes homegrown brands such as RHB Bank and Resorts World Genting as well as global and regional names such as Domino’s and Darlie.
There has also been a significant increase in profits for the Group after the takeover of the agency. The Shout Group’s most lucrative year was 2021, despite the two-and-a-half years of Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns and economic turmoil.
Reflecting on their initial plans during the early days of the buyout, Tay said, Shi-Ping and him both decided that a measured approach that they focused on is creating the fundamental groundwork of a sustainable, reputable agency was more important than having their ‘names on the door’ from the get-go.
‘So we adopted a best-of-both-worlds approach where we leveraged FCB’s equity in Malaysia at the same time injecting our No Plan B attitude and distinctive, feisty personality to reshape our business, client by client and talent by talent to achieve our goal of becoming a challenger agency,” Tay said.
Tay elaborated, “The group’s focus is on talent growth. Let’s just say that as a people-before-profit organisation. We’ve always believed in investing in talent. The sort of talent who is ambitious, looking to shake things up whilst also realising that sustained growth requires effort and personal dedication to incubate. The leadership team we’ve assembled is the embodiment of this belief. They have proven their mettle time and again and are invested in the agency – just as how we are invested in their growth… Because when they win, we win. Our people are the very core of who we are and will continue to be the driving force that enables our growth and expansion plans.”
“As seasoned operators who own the business and aren’t in a rush to sell out, we have our industry’s greatest asset – we have time,” Tay adds.
Commenting on how the group’s vision has shaped the agency, Shi-Ping shared that they had put themselves in a very unfamiliar place when they took ownership of the agency. Even though they decided to keep the FCB name, they became very much a start-up company overnight, where everything had to be rebuilt from the ground up.
“While that may seem like a daunting and unfavourable situation to many, we actually saw it as an opportunity. With all the old legacy accounts exiting prior to the buyout, it gave us a chance to reset our reputation, enabling us to better connect with like-minded clients who had the same challenger mindset. In addition, we created the foundations of the agency by handpicking generational talents who share the same vision as us to take on leadership roles. Fast forward to today, the combination of the people that we have and the clients who believe in us has shaped the agency into what it is known as now – the #1 locally-owned creative shop in Malaysia.” Shi-Ping said.
He added, “We have all the pieces in play – ability, ambition, and the accolades – to make The Shout Group and FCB SHOUT not just a common fixture in our market but soon, a louder presence on a larger stage.”