Susie Sell
Apr 19, 2013

JWT enters Myanmar; signs affiliation agreement with Mango Marketing

YANGON - JWT has become the latest international agency network to move into Myanmar, signing an affiliation agreement with Mango Marketing in the newly opened market.

JWT is the latest network to enter Myanmar
JWT is the latest network to enter Myanmar

The agreement, signed today, gives JWT an option to buy equity in the Myanmar agency, which JWT said it would exercise “at a time that is beneficial to JWT and to Mango”.

The deal secures JWT’s position in Myanmar, where the handful of local agencies are far outnumbered by the international networks eyeing the market after economic sanctions were eased last year.

It also strengthens WPP’s presence in the market, following the deal between Ogilvy and Today Advertising in May last year.

Michael Maedel, chairman of JWT Asia Pacific, said it was very important that JWT was one of the first movers in the market, revealing that the network began its search for potential candidates to work with as soon as the market opened up.

Mango Marketing will now gain access to JWT’s network of digital and creative talent, proprietary consumer insight and strategy planning tools. Importantly, the move will also allow JWT’s clients to move into the market, widely seen as one of the world's last untapped frontiers.

“Myanmar is on the radar of every major company right now,” Maedel said. “Many of our global clients, and our Asian multinational clients, have been expressing interest in this market since sanctions began to ease. A number of our clients like Nestlé and Unilever are already there, and more are planning to set up operations.”

Mango Marketing was set up in 2004 by Lynn Lynn Tin Htun and Aye Hnin Swe, and is a 52-person operation servicing clients that include Unilever, F&N and United Pharma.

International agency and brand interest in Mango is said to have been intensifying every month, with the agency saying it had been "careful in its choice of a creative services affiliate partner".

“JWT has a 150-year history building brands across the world with an excellent creative reputation, and we felt this was a natural fit with Mango Marketing's goal to take our creative product to the next level,” said Swe. “The affiliation agreement will bring international training and development programmes to our teams and expose them to international opportunities.”    

Maedel said the consumer journey is just beginning in the market, describing Myanmar as “potentially one of the most dynamic economies of the 21st century”.

“As the economy continues to open up, people are going to start buying new types of soap and shower gels for their bathroom, new detergent and hair care brands, and they’ll want to try out new kinds of food, snacks and soft drinks that will be available for the first time,” he said. “Later, they’ll buy their first washing machine, and maybe somewhere down the road, their first car."

He said brands must now connect with these consumers and explain what their products are all about, how they work, what differentiates their products from their competitors, and how their brand can improve consumers’ day-to-day lives.


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