Shawn Lim
Jan 17, 2024

Amazon layoffs to impact agencies in APAC

Amazon's plans to move from original productions on Prime Video to licensing is set to impact its relationship with IPG Mediabrands in APAC

Prime Video
Prime Video

Amazon’s decision to change its content strategy for its Prime Video offering in Southeast Asia as part of its global layoff exercise will impact its agency IPG Mediabrands, Campaign understands.

A leaked memo by Gaurav Gandhi, the vice president for Asia-Pacific, revealed that the commerce giant has recently decided to phase out specific programs and initiatives, shifting its focus towards regions that contribute most significantly to its growth.

This strategic shift in the Asia-Pacific region involves reducing investments of original productions in SEA and adopting a more streamlined operational approach in these territories.

According to Gandhi, David Simonsen will spearhead the newly streamlined Singapore-based SEA team, enhancing collaboration with the company's central business units to continue attracting new customers in the region.

However, Gandhi said the company's investment strategy in other APAC territories, such as Japan and India, remains unchanged. This realignment has resulted in the elimination of some positions within the SEA team.

Amazon is Mediabrands agency Initiative’s biggest client globally, serviced under a team called Rufus. Previously limited to Australia and India in APAC, both parties expanded their partnership from 2022 onwards.

While Initiative retained Amazon in 2022 with more than US$200,000 in billings, Amazon put its media account up for review in October 2023. Mediabrands has been buying media for Amazon since 2017.

In Singapore, Initiative services Amazon Web Services (AWS), Prime Video, and Workforce Staffing, while in Thailand, Indonesia, and the Philippines, the agency handles AWS and Prime Video for Amazon.

In Japan, Initiative handles AWS, Amazon Advertising, Amazon Business, Workforce Staffing and in Korea, the agency deals with AWS.

IPG declined to comment when reached by Campaign, however multiple sources familiar with the situation confirmed to the publication that the agency has been impacted.

Campaign Asia

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