Staff Reporters
Aug 5, 2016

Move and win roundup: WE Buchan, Ogilvy, PepsiCo, Lenovo, more

A weekly roundup of people moves and account news worth noting.

Clockwise from upper left: Yvonne Chang, James Liu, Josie Schwarzer and Jen McDermott, Growmint team with Changi Airport Group, Adrian Christie, Red Engine's Julian Townley, Sally Hooper
Clockwise from upper left: Yvonne Chang, James Liu, Josie Schwarzer and Jen McDermott, Growmint team with Changi Airport Group, Adrian Christie, Red Engine's Julian Townley, Sally Hooper


Integrated communications agency WE Buchan expanded its digital and consumer practices, appointing Josie Schwarzer and Jen McDermott as digital lead and account director, respectively.  Schwarzer joins from Edge, and will be tasked with driving social and digital campaign for clients.  McDermott was senior public relations manager at The Travel Corporation, and will lead the consumer practice and focus on growing the agency at WE Buchan.

WPP AUNZ’s Designworks appointed Sally Hooper as head of commercial management and new business in Christchurch. She will work with recent arrival Danielle Barclay, group head of brand experience, to create unconventional designs and communications. Hooper was recently Senior Account Director at Novo and most recently Marketing Manager at Ballantynes.

Performance marketing technology company Criteo appointed Yvonne Chang as executive APAC MD. Chang will be based in Singapore, and will oversee operations in Australia, China, India, Japan, Singapore and South Korea, in the meantime expanding existing advertiser and publisher relationships into Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. She reports to chief revenue officer Mollie Spillman in New York. Chang was previously president at Taiwan-based Eastern Broadcasting, having also worked at Yahoo as VP of advertising solutions for APAC.

WPP AUNZ’s Ogilvy PR appointed former PayPal communications executive Adrian Christie as a director, tasking him with building social and digital capabilities and driving strategic social media planning for the consultancy’s social, content and digital practice, [email protected] He will also lead the Microsoft account as the key client relationship manager (KCRM). Prior to PayPal, he was senior VP at Porter Novelli New York and head of communications at Sony PlayStation.

Caroline Campbell Troman is joining AOL as commercial director from Yahoo, where she was director of programmatic and regional sales, APAC. Catherine Shen is taking on the new position of APAC marketing manager after eight years in media agency and publisher marketing in Singapore and Sydney, working for Tatler Asia, Mediacom and Starcom Mediavest. Sonal Agarwal will soon join the team as strategy & business process manager, transferring from the AOL office in LA.

Iris Worldwide has appointed Natalie Hellon as group account director, managing the expanding Shell portfolio, in addition to providing strategic direction, overseeing client relationships and account performance. She joins from Naked Communciations in Sydney and will report to Craig Mapleston, managing director at Iris Singapore.

SPAG Asia has appointed Janaki Soman as senior manager in the agency's Singapore office. Soman brings extensive experience in the consumer goods, luxury and hospitality sectors. She specialises in digital media and communications. 

Dominique Backhouse is the new PR manager for Asia at COMO Hotels and Resorts. Backhouse will be responsible for managing the Group’s public relations strategy focusing on Greater China and Australia. Prior to joining COMO, she led a cross-regional team at GHC Asia.

Christian Guinot, former president at MEC China, is joining Teads to drive its Asian operations from its newly set-up Singapore hub. Teads already has a foot-hold in Japan and will expand into southeast Asia this year, and then China next year. 

James Liu (刘文隆) joined Hill+Knowlton Strategies (H+K) China as vice president of its automotive practice. Joining H+K from Ruder Finn, Liu will take over as Ford account lead from Marcel Chu, who left H+K to pursue personal interests after 11 years with the business. Liu will be based in Shanghai, reporting to CEO QC Liang.

South China Morning Post's group director of marketing and events Michael Chu is set to depart after almost six years. At SCMP he held an executive committee role providing brand planning and strategic marketing leadership to units within the group encompassing over 30 titles.

Suejane Chang was promoted from VP of PR at Walmart China to lead overall marketing in the mainland as VP of marketing, filling the place of Tony Rogers (China CMO for the past two years), who has been elevated to U.S. chief marketing officer last Dececmber.

Grey Group Greater China unveiled five promotions: Sarah Trombetta to CEO of Grey Hong Kong from MD of Grey Hong Kong; June Lyloc to CEO of Grey Shanghai from MD of Grey Shanghai; Keith Ho from CEO of Grey Beijing from MD and chief creative officer of Grey Hong Kong; Joseph Tsang to MD of Grey Social Greater China from digital ecosystem director of Grey Greater China; Desmond Chan to EVP and chief growth officer of Grey Greater China from managing partner of Grey Hong Kong.

BBDO and Proximity promoted Kit Koh to executive creative director for its South China operations. He was previously the executive creative director of Energy BBDO Shanghai, leading several brands including VISA, Bayer, SC Johnson, DENZA, Master Kong, and Platinum Guild International. 

Sam Flemming, the pioneer and founder of Kantar Media CIC, was promoted to the role of chairman. Taking the CEO role is Michael Toedman, hired from Soho Syndicate. Additionally, Kantar Media CIC’s Linda Xu (徐凌蓓) has been promoted as head of research and consulting after two years of service.


Changi Airport Group appointed Growmint as digital creative agency-of-record to strengthen its marketing efforts in Indonesia.

George Weston Foods appointed BMF as its lead creative agency for its bakery breakfast brand Golden, following a competitive pitch.

PLUG PR is appointed as the retainer agency for Carousell, a mobile classifieds marketplace from Singapore, responsible for its media relations and communications for the app in Hong Kong.

In Australia, Artisan Spirit Merchants (ASM) awarded its business to full-service agency Noisy Beast, which will manage creative, media, social and events for brands Vodka O, Tequila Blu, Spicebox Canadian Whisky and Moss Creek Moonshine.

PepsiCo Beverages appointed independent digital creative agency Red Engine SCC to steer the company’s digital content, social strategy and community management across its market brands Pepsi, Pepsi Max, Mountain Dew and Gatorade.

Lenovo Hong Kong appointed Y&R PR of Cohn & Wolfe Group Company as its PR agency for enterprise and consumer products.

Italian fashion house Trussardi appointed RTG Consulting Group for brand strategy and marketing services in Mainland China.  RTG’s strategy division and marketing division SOLUTIONS and INSPIRE would help Trussardi localise their brand.

Beijing-based social media agency Skye Media has been hired to handle social media duties for Singapore Airlines and SilkAir. The remit includes strategy, planning, content publishing, campaign management and daily monitoring for the airlines in China. 


GO Communications, Malaysia expanded its PR reach in Asia with a strategic communications partnership with Regional Public Relations (RPR) in India, hoping to facilitate active cross-national exchange of knowledge, resources and personnel between the two agencies.

Luxury marketing and communications specialist Reuter Communications and Chinese data and digital marketing agency INNOMATIVE formed a strategic alliance to enhance the digital solutions offered to clients in the premium and luxury industries. The alliance would enable the agencies to tab into each others’ resources and networks to provide proprietary data-driven marketing product, digital and data solutions for clients.

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