Interpublic Group's Mediabrands has promoted Amit Sutha, currently the CEO of UM Malaysia and Ensemble Malaysia, toa global role in its creative practice, Mediabrands Content Studio (MBCS).
Sutha will be EVP and executive director for global business with MBCS, which Mediabrands launched in November 2020 to help network and grow the content capabilities around the world within its agencies, UM, Initiative, Reprise, Rapport, Magna and Orion.
It's Sutha's second promotion in a year; he was promoted from group managing director of Ensemble Worldwide and Universal McCann (UM) in Malaysia to CEO of UM, UM Studios and Ensemble Worldwide in February 2020.
In the new role, Sutha will oversee the development and deployment of specialised content capabilities and teams across Mediabrands’ top markets, according to the company. MBCS provides services across branded content, performance content, advertising campaigns, and original content and entertainment.
"This is an opportunity to lead a content unit that makes our business more future-ready," Sutha told Campaign Asia-Pacific. "MBCS helps us locate and use data and undertake tasks that have traditionally been beyond our remit as media agencies."
Sutha will not only be a global business leader, he said, but also something of a strategic advisor, pushing agencies to consider different content formats to discover new revenue streams. For instance, this means considering different video consumption behaviours across different platforms—Facebook, Twitter, display ads and direct buys—and using the ability to follow the ebb and flow of this consumption to build assorted content.
His remit will be to help agencies across the Mediabrands universe connect, activate and experiment with islands of data that they house. MBCS's content capabilities may be applicable across the board, but especially useful for fast-emerging categories such as ecommerce, where creativity needs to improve quickly to keep pace with its growth, Sutha said.
"The pandemic has resulted in huge change in shopping behaviour and the distance between sales and marketing has collapsed," he said. "Is the shopper looking around or here to buy now? Creating content based on these decisions is the holy grail."
Despite this being a global role, Sutha will continue to be based in APAC. He will report to Brendan Gaul, global chief content officer of Mediabrands and global president of Traverse32 (pictured).
"He doesn’t look at media and creative separately," Gaul said of Sutha in a release. "He builds both from data, bringing a unique understanding of the client’s high value audiences. He is a champion of great creative that moves a client’s business and makes one rethink the way of looking at integrated solutions.”
Sutha's replacement in Malaysia is currently being finalised, according to the company. Sutha and Bala Pomaleh, CEO of Mediabrands Malaysia, will oversee UM and Ensemble in the meantime.
"This role is six years in the making for me at Mediabrands," Sutha said. "Over this time I have built content practices in Malaysia with Ensemble and UM studio and spent the last year-and-a-half building a strong content practice for UM in APAC."
Under Sutha, UM Malaysia was named the country’s best agency by Recma each year since 2016, and both UM and Ensemble, as well as UM Studios, have won awards at Campaign Asia-Pacific's Agency of the Year Awards in 2020 and 2019.
Sutha relishes the chance to connect disparate islands of creativity. "MBCS’s vision of integrating new and innovative content models more tightly into client solutions will only make Mediabrands’ work for clients stronger," he said. "Data-driven content actually makes our media product better."