Matthew Miller
Nov 19, 2018

Grab hires Ken Mandel for advertising role

Former Publicis Media innovation head joins the Southeast Asia transport-services company.

Ken Mandel
Ken Mandel

Former Publicis Media executive Ken Mandel has joined Grab as regional head of its advertising offering, GrabAds, the company has confirmed.

"[Mandel] will work with GrabAds' clients to create hyper-personalised experiences for consumers and grow Grab's advertising offerings including fleet advertising and in-app customer engagement," a spokesperson said.

Mandel departed his role as president of innovation and commerce at Publicis Media APAC in February. He declined to comment for this article.

Grab is a data-rich company, with info on a reported 100 million users. And with marketers in need of solid data sets to drive their activities, especially mobile-derived data (see "APAC's digital-data deficit, and what to do about it"), the company could find a ready market for such assets. 

The Grab spokesperson said that the company's approach is to form data partnerships with brands to create contextual content and relevant experiences. "Any data that we share will be anonymised and aggregated", the spokesperson added.

Grab, which acquired Uber's business in Southeast Asia earlier this year, has interests in financial services, as well as transport. In recent weeks the company got a $250 million investment from Hyundai Motor Group to promote electric vehicles, made a deal with MasterCard to deliver prepaid cards to users via its app, and just last week announced a service for wallet-to-wallet e-payments.

Mandel joined Publicis Media with Starcom Mediavest in 2015, and has also served in high-level APAC roles at HootsuiteSalesforceBuddy MediaYahoo and Neo@Ogilvy / OgilvyOne.

More on Grab

Singapore watchdog fines Grab & Uber S$13m over merger (September)

Grab wants to overhaul entire SE Asian transport system (April)

Uber sells to Grab: A look back at the brand's SEA ads (March)

GrabTaxi rebrands to Grab, makes brand loyalty a priority (January 2016)

This story has been updated following Grab providing comments.

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