Wrapping up our review of 2019—and our publishing for the year (we'll be off from today until January 2)—here are the top 10 Campaign Asia-Pacific articles of 2019.
As with our list of the year's top exits and entrances, news about the thorough, slow-motion restructuring of Dentsu Aegis Network APAC took a large share of the industry's attention, accounting for four of the 10 slots. Among these, we have to admit that the name change reported in No. 3 has not yet come to fruition. We stand by the reporting and note that it may yet come to pass in 2020. Dentsu Aegis also landed at the top of the list due to a tragic event.
Elsewhere, the Hong Kong protests, Wunderman Thompson, Qantas, GroupM and the stunning dance moves of a certain famous footballer (who also appeared in our list of favourite 2019 ads) all grabbed their share of readers.
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2019: The year in review
A Dentsu Aegis Network (DAN) Indonesia employee died during a company offsite event outside Jakarta in 2018, Campaign Asia-Pacific has learned. In a statement shared with Campaign, DAN said: “We are saddened by the sudden passing of an employee of Isobar Indonesia, a well-liked and respected member of the team. Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with his family and friends throughout this difficult time.”
2. DAN restructures regional media agencies, cuts jobs (January 22)
Dentsu Aegis Network is restructuring how its media agencies operate at regional level, dissolving its APAC CEO positions in Singapore, laying off staff and forming new business groups at the holding company level. Affected agencies include not just the main media agencies Carat, Dentsu X and Vizeum, but also performance agency iProspect and DAN's media innovation and investment arm, Amplifi.
3. Dentsu plans to drop Aegis from name (July 22)
Dentsu Aegis Network is planning to drop the ‘Aegis’ from its brand name from 2020 and is further slimlining its Asia-Pacific operations to fully realise the broader company’s ‘one Dentsu’ strategy, Campaign understands.
4. Qantas appoints new CMO (November 7)
The Australian airline is moving Jo Boundy from Qantas Loyalty, where she is currently executive manager of marketing and Qantas Group Accommodation, to become executive manager of group brand and marketing—effectively the Qantas Group’s chief marketing officer position.
5. Susana Tsui out as Dentsu Aegis restructures (March 7)
Susana Tsui has stepped down as Dentsu Aegis Network (DAN) China CEO and is leaving the company less than a year after taking the role, as part of a host of regional leadership changes the network announced today. Tsui joined DAN in April 2018 from PHD, where she had been APAC CEO since 2013. In a release, DAN said she is being replaced by Michelle Lau, who returns to DAN having held various leadership positions at the group between 2003 and 2015.
BEYOND THE NEWS
To make this year's list of the top 10 most-read articles reflect 2019 industry news, we excluded a handful of extremely well-read annual features, as well as news stories about awards.
6. Wunderman Thompson unveils APAC leadership (May 10)
Wunderman Thompson has revealed its completed leadership team across Asia-Pacific, announcing eight regional leaders who in addition to Justin Peyton will be reporting to regional CEO Annette Male.
H&M has become the latest brand to get caught up in the intensifying protests in Hong Kong, with calls for a boycott of the brand circulating on China’s Twitter-like microblog Weibo because of a recent shop closure. “We are closed today,” read a notice (written in Cantonese and English) posted on the glass door of an H&M shop in Hong Kong on Monday, the same day of a general strike that reportedly involved workers from some 20 sectors.
8. Ronaldo's Shopee ad is gloriously ridiculous (August 16)
Online retailer Shopee has debuted an ad starring part-time football icon and seemingly full-time brand ambassador Cristiano Ronaldo. It is...quite something. We suppose it is ridiculous on purpose rather than accidentally ridiculous, but either way, it is ridiculous. So ridiculous, in fact, that we cannot help but give in to its charms and love it—in a furtive, guilty way that makes us feel a bit dirty afterward.
“I have two titles,” Takaki Hibino says, sliding his business card across the coffee table. The simple white card clearly denotes Hibino as not just the new executive chairman of Dentsu Aegis Network Asia-Pacific, but also senior vice-president at Dentsu Inc. “That’s one of the reasons I came here after Nick,” he says, referring to former DAN APAC CEO Nick Waters. “To create a new chapter. To realise One Dentsu.”
A payment dispute that led to a public confrontation outside GroupM's offices in Shanghai last October has now progressed to an official civil complaint filed in Shanghai Xuhui District People's Court. OTT programmatic buying agent Tansuo Media filed the complaint against a legal entity of GroupM called QunShi on Tuesday, and said it plans to file another one against GroupM itself.
BONUS: TOP 3 INTERNATIONAL STORIES
These articles written by our US and UK colleagues also ranked quite highly in 2019.