Benjamin Li
Jan 7, 2013

Ex-DDB China CCO takes the helm of The Gate China

SHANGHAI - Michael Dee, former chief creative officer of DDB China, has made the surprising move of joining The Gate China as chairman and chief creative officer, effective 4 January.

Dee: Seeking a new challenge
Dee: Seeking a new challenge

Dee (pictured) is an integrated award-winning creative leader in the Greater China market. He brings to The Gate more than two decades of experience, predominantly at JWT Taipei and DDB China, where he has served as chief creative officer since 2006. During his tenure with the agency, DDB won Greater China Creative Agency of the Year in 2010.

Under Dee's tenure, JWT Taipei was the biggest award winner in the market for six consecutive years. Dee's accolades include a Gold Lion from Cannes. He has worked with clients such as Pepsi, McDonald’s, Lipton, Volkswagen, Unilever, Acer, Diageo, Ford and Uni-President. 

Kao told Campaign Asia-Pacific that The Gate's Shanghai office was opened in China over five years ago but has not yet built up strong momentum.

"[Dee] is a true leader with a strong vision of how to build an agency," Tom Kao, Asia CEO of The Gate, commented on his appointment. “We have both worked in leadership roles in MNC agencies in the Greater China region for a long time, and reached a careers stage that we want a new challenge [at] a different agency that is not so traditional, offers different communication solutions to clients, and more flexibility in managing our own operations."

Dee, who is nicknamed "Little Red Hat", noted that DDB Shanghai was relatively small in scale when he joined. He said that 4As agencies are typically difficult to change. By contrast, his role at The Gate provides opportunities to build integrated campaigns as well as to develop business alongside clients. He sees it as a means of reinventing himself.

"I want to make it an ‘open agency’ to clients and colleagues as co-partners," he explained. "We don’t want to build a lot of layers with lots of business directors and account managers. With too many layers, everything is very slow and inflexible."

The Gate China is part of The Gate Worldwide, with offices in London, New York, Edinburgh, Hong Kong, Singapore and Shanghai. It is the advertising arm of MSQ Partners, a London-based communications group consisting of complementary but autonomous creative agencies in advertising, branding, digital and design. MSQ Partners is 100 per cent owned by its own staff and managers.





Campaign China

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