A statement provided in response to Campaign Asia-Pacific's queries about the move quotes Jonathan Allard, the agency's chief operating officer: "After much deliberation, Draftfcb has decided to cease operations of its office in Hong Kong by 31 December, 2013. The closure has been decided in the best interests of its clients, with the agency consolidating its creative work into Draftfcb’s markets that offer the greatest growth potential.”
Starting 1 January, the agency's Shanghai operation will handle work that the Hong Kong office would have done for the globally aligned Beiersdorf account, while work for global client Mondelēz will be handled by the regional hub in Jakarta and adapted for Hong Kong by the network's Taiwan operation, the statement said. "These agencies already work on the Beiersdorf and Mondelēz accounts, ensuring a smooth transition for both clients,” Allard said in the statement.
Campaign Asia-Pacific has reached out to Lo; Pully Chau, the chairwoman and CEO of Draftfcb Greater China; and Sue McCusker, CEO of Publicis Hong Kong for comment and will update this story if and when they reply.
This is the third Hong Kong 4A office to close down this year. As reported on 21 May, M&C Saatchi ceased its creative operations in Hong Kong. And on 17 June, we reported that Bates CHI & Partners and JWT had formed a new joint venture to handle the HSBC account. Although the agencies insisted that the event did not constitute an office closure, the Bates staff moved into JWT's offices.