Staff Reporters
Dec 15, 2015

Best of 2015: 5 big APAC market exits

Sometimes, it's not you, it's them. You made a go of it, you did your best, but things... just didn't work out. Here are five of the year's biggest industry breakups.

Best of 2015: 5 big APAC market exits

As 2015 nears its end, Campaign Asia-Pacific is reviewing the year by featuring one best-of (or worst-of) list each day. We've got 12 days' worth of the biggest PR disastersdealspitches, launches and people moves; the best and not-best campaigns; and the oddest stories and quotes we've heard. Click here for all our year-in-review features from not only 2015 but also past years.

Today, the year's biggest market exits.


1. Yahoo pulls out of China after leaving Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia

In March, Yahoo closed down its operatons in China and laid off up to 300 people, broke the WSJ. The goal, reported the financial paper, was cost-cutting. This market exit followed Yahoo's decision to close down offices in three Southeast Asian markets (Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia) at the close of 2014. The office closures saw the internet company lay off 25 people in Vietnam, 50 in Indonesia and 15 in Malaysia, according to Techcrunch. Of course as of this writing, it now appears that Yahoo may exit the internet business entirely.


2. Groupon fails in seven markets

In a damning indictment of the group-buying model, in September, Groupon was forced to shut down operations in seven countries including the Philippines, Thailand and Taiwan—marking a sharp reversal for the tech company. At its business peak, Groupon had rebuffed a multibillion-dollar buyout offer from Google to pursue its own path as a publicly traded company. In recent years that path had become more difficult and culminated in an ongoing turnaround effort. Rich Williams, COO at Groupon, announced job cuts, international closures and company restructuring in a Groupon blog post.


3. Droga5 closes its Sydney office

September saw hotshot creative agency Droga5 exit Australia due to some "self-inflicted" issues, "bad luck" and the "befuddling" local advertising market. David Droga, creative chairman and founder of Droga5, said it was a difficult decision and a "bitter pill to swallow".

He said: "However, we see little value in continuing to operate in this market with an office that, sadly, no longer consistently represents the Droga5 brand. Despite world-class local management and many talented individuals working hard, the Sydney office has floundered over the past few years."


4. IPG Initiative discontinued in Hong Kong

With UM much the stronger agency for IPG Mediabrands in Hong Kong, it's perhaps unsurprising that the group decided to discontinue the agency brand in June and fold its members of staff into UM. Indeed, the spokesperson for Mediabrands called the move "a formality". 


5. BBDO Japan absorbs DDB Japan 

Likewise in Japan, Omnicom decided to fold its DDB Japan operations into BBDO. In terminology that harkens back to Gwenyth Paltrow's 'concious uncoupling' from Chris Martin, the press release termed the move a "co-location". Reasons given were to "allow for operational synergy in Japan, with DDB gaining access to the wider Omnicom resources resulting in an increased level of service and capabilities, especially in digital and strategic planning”. A similar structure between DDB and BBDO exists in other regional markets, including Taiwan, where operations were combined last May. DDB opened for business in Japan in 1986. The folding into BBDO saw the departure of president and CEO Issei Matsui (pictured), who only took his post in May.


See all year-in-review features



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