Led by industry specialist Amiel Mendoza, the Manila operation has six employees. Mendoza joins Cohn & Wolfe from EON, where he worked with brands such as L’Oreal, Cirque du Soleil, McDonald’s, Kraft and Procter & Gamble. He will report to Gavin Foo, group managing director for Southeast Asia.
Over the past two years, Cohn & Wolfe has expanded throughout Asia. In 2011 and 2012, the agency opened offices in Jakarta, Mumbai and Delhi; acquired two agencies; and added additional offices in Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia. In early 2013, the agency acquired a minority stake in Middle East network BPG PR, establishing offices in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Baghdad, Doha, Jeddah and Kuwait.
As for next phase of expansion, it is eyeing markets that provide a little more clarity in terms of political, economic and trade stability, as well as the ability to grow together with clients.
“Myanmar and most of Indochina markets offer tremendous potential, and will be the logical destination for the future growth of any agency with a Southeast Asian agenda,” Mendoza told Campaign Asia-Pacific.
The Philippines team will focus on the core areas of technology, consumer & lifestyle and branding. Its Southeast Asia clients include Google and Nokia.
It will also serve as a platform for local brands and industries looking to leapfrog into the global marketplace, according to the agency.
The country’s huge young population, Mendoza noted, together with a growing national economy and a government that is paving the way for greater business and political stability drove the decision to expand into the country. It will also be working with Filipino conglomerates that are looking to bring their brands to regional and international markets.
The agency expects its integration of digital and social to help brands reach out to young and digitally savvy consumers.