Benjamin Li
Mar 27, 2014

Maxus gives Japan MD control in Korea as well

TOKYO – Michael Morano has apparently done a good job in just over a year as MD of Maxus Japan, as the company has now given him an additional role as MD of another market that often proves difficult for international agencies: Korea.

Michael Morano
Michael Morano

Morano (pictured), an Italian-American with a Chinese name (莫邁克), joined Maxus Japan in January 2013 as its MD and was also the agency's first employee. He took the reins as Korea MD last week.

In Japan, Morano has built a fully functional team to drive more than 60 per cent growth in the overall Japanese business, the majority of which is now digital.

Some of the agency's clients over the past year include SC Johnson, Air France, Fiat Chrysler, Ralph Lauren, Jetstar, and Kärcher (a German manufacturer of cleaning equipment).

“We are still sorting out the staffing for the Korean team, but are definitely aiming to make sure digital is a key pillar,” Morano said.

The Korean media market shares some similarities with Japan, he said, in that both have well-established local agencies with strong reputations (Cheil and Dentsu, respectively). 

"Both markets traditionally have placed a heavy emphasis on TVC and print," he said. "We aim to change that by leveraging our global network to deliver new best practices to the market, especially in the digital space and analytics."

Now is an especially exciting time in both markets, Morano said. "The Korean Wave is stretching across the globe, driven by electronics and pop culture, whilst Japan has seen a renaissance of activity, and people are especially curious about what is happening with the market. We have definitely been sprinting to keep up with the pitches and growth."  

Before joining an agency, Morano spent most of his career working for Japanese and Asian firms, including Sony Computer Entertainment in London and Hong Kong, where he was head of product marketing and business development. Prior to that he lived in Taiwan, working with HTC's Global Marketing team during its brand deployment days.

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