Nick Waters, chief executive of Dentsu Aegis Network Asia-Pacific, said the network has seen significant growth in performance media across the region.
“In Columbus we have Australia's leading search and performance agency, and will now extend the agency into Asia to capture the opportunity,” he said in a press statement.
Columbus Asia will be Dentsu Aegis Network’s second digital-performance brand in the region and will operate in parallel as a sister agency to iProspect, which currently boasts 2,500 employees across 49 countries.
Ruth Stubbs has been appointed chief executive of the newly created Dentsu Aegis Network Digital Performance division, which also includes iProspect, John Brown and the network’s mobile arm Fetch in Asia-Pacific.
Rosemary Lising, former regional managing director of key accounts for iProspect, has been appointed the managing director for Columbus Asia, tasked with driving regional expansion. She will report to Stubbs, who remains chief executive of iProspect Asia-Pacific.
“We feel it’s the right time to expand the business and its innovative performance solutions into Asia,” said Lising. “The opportunity will allow us to meet ambitious targets with our growing roster of Dentsu Aegis clients across Asia Pacific.”
Speaking to Campaign Asia-Pacific, Lising said that the agency is in the process of establishing regional operations in Singapore and are looking at Hong Kong, Taiwan and India as other potential markets to establish an on-ground presence in.
She added there were plans to significantly increase headcount as the agency expands operations but was unable to share further details at this point, with senior appointments expected to be announced in the coming months.
The agency currently has more than 100 staff in its Sydney hub, which will continue as the region’s centre of excellence for product and strategy.
Asked how it differentiates itself from iProspect, also a digital performance marketing agency, Lising said that the company positions itself as a “connections agency” with a focus on “blending performance media with optimised experiences, underpinned by data and technology".
“With iProspect as a sister agency, it will enable us to have a larger footprint in the region and expand our offerings in search and performance marketing,” she added.
She was not at liberty to share the agency’s current portfolio of clients, and said that Columbus will be working closely with its agency partners such as Carat and Vizeum to help drive search and performance for clients within the Dentsu Aegis network in the region.
Rebecca Tos will continue as managing director for Columbus Australia.