This is the first time in Asia that creative leadership has been acknowledged by global management in such a manner that does not involve a joint venture. Agencies have given such honours elsewhere, such as BBDO Guerrero in the Philippines and FCB Garfinkel in New York.
In addition, as of today Wong is CEO and creative chairman for McCann & Spencer (he was previously CEO and chief creative officer).
Wong told Campaign Asia-Pacific that he initiated the renaming six months ago. "I’m very proud my name, Spencer, will become part of the agency’s name in Hong Kong, a reinforcement of our commitment that creativity will remain a priority to our clients and business partners," he said, calling the rename a "reset" of the company to take the lead in the market for the next five years.
Wong stated that he will be expected to produce even more for the agency now that McCann has his name on the door, meaning rising liabilities and responsibilties equivalent to those of a partner in a corporate partnership. However, the move does not reflect a financial stake held by Wong in the agency. "There is no change to our equity structure in Hong Kong," clarified Charles Cadell, president of McCann Worldgroup Asia Pacific.
Wong said clients in the Hong Kong and China markets respond to talent capabilities and resources, a fact many domestic agencies have used to their advantage.
"With client loyalty remaining with people rather than just with agencies, making the change to McCann & Spencer gives confidence to existing and prospective clients that we will place the best of Hong Kong’s talent on their accounts,” Wong said. Creative people are the "core and ultimate assets" an agency offers to clients, he emphasised.
After joining McCann Hong Kong in early 2006 as executive creative director for Greater China, Wong subsequently rose to managing director for Hong Kong and then CEO and chief creative officer of McCann Hong Kong.
“Spencer has been a key driver in transforming the Hong Kong office to be recognised globally for its creative prowess," commented Cadell. "His reputation and connections also lended themselves to attracting talent, not only in Hong Kong but also in Asia and beyond".
Dave McCaughen currently serves as MD of McCann Hong Kong, but today's happening does not change his role in the agency "for now", Cadell added.