Chitty (pictured), who came on board Monday, told Campaign Asia-Pacific that it's good to be back after three years at PHD in New York City. “I just had dinner with my team," she said. "It is very nice to see my old colleagues in China.”
Her role will be to oversee the agency's Shanghai and Beijing offices, which together have over 250 employees. Her key focus will be on the relationship with Unilever, as well as new business development and innovation for PHD in China.
Chitty joined OMG in 2006 and worked in China until 2010. She started off as managing partner at OMD China, overseeing new business development and general accounts. In December 2009, she was involved in the Unilever pitch, which PHD won from long-term incumbent Mindshare. “I took a lead role in setting up the Unilever team in PHD China with over 100 staff, which is the biggest piece of business to change hands then,” Chitty said.
In 2010 she transferred to PHD's New York office as director of business development for five offices in the US. A large part of her work was replicating the transitional approach developed for Unilever in China with GSK when the US office won that account.
Significant new business wins during her US tenure included Ferrero and the Swatch Group in the US market, and the global communication planning account for GSK for all its brands. “New York was great and fascinating," she added. "That’s where advertising was born.”
So why return to China? Chitty said it was all part of the plan from the start. Her move to the US three years ago was "accelerated" by her husband, Geoffrey Handley, who at that time sold the mobile-marketing agency he founded, The Hyperfactory, to US publishing company Meredith. Handley needed to be in the US for a specified period of time as part of the sale agreement.
Chitty, a native New Zealander, has also worked with FCB in Australasia.