A video circulating on Chinese social media shows a sometimes heated confrontation between a group of women and staffers from GroupM China in and around the lobby of the WPP campus in Shanghai yesterday around noon.
GroupM China's chief investment officer Rycan Di appears in the video. The women were reportedly representing Tansuo Media, a Hangzhou-based over-the-top (OTT) programmatic buying agent GroupM has worked with. The women accuse the media agency of non-payment, shouting, "Why are you running away?" and "You owe us money!" in Mandarin. Other statements heard on the video include, "You caused someone’s husband to die!" and "A person has to have moral limits."
In an internal staff memo seen by Campaign China, GroupM confirms an ongoing contractual agreement with Tansuo Media. "The media supplier has yet to fully perform their obligation under the agreement," the memo states, adding that payment will only be made after Tansuo Media has "provided confirmation of the completion and satisfaction of the service as stated".
The head of Tansuo Media, Dong Dawei, passed away on 25 September, according to a public post. Industry sources told Campaign one of the people involved in the confrontation is that man's widow.
The public confrontation has now been reported to the local police. It is understood GroupM China is in the midst of preparing a public statement on the matter.