Racheal Lee
Aug 1, 2012

Sa’ad Hussein leads creative at TBWA, Creative Juice in Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR - TBWA Group Malaysia, which saw several corporate and management changes in the past year, has promoted Sa’ad Hussein as its chief creative officer and executive director, looking after TBWA\Kuala Lumpur and Creative Juice\Kuala Lumpur.

Sa’ad Hussein
Sa’ad Hussein

Hussein was most recently the managing director and executive creative director of Creative Juice\Kuala Lumpur. Assuming his post today, he takes over from Jeff Orr, who will step down next month but will remain as a consultant to the TBWA Group in Malaysia and the Asia-Pacific region.

“We’re pushing the TBWA Group in Malaysia to the next level and we see Sa’ad as the right person to lead the next creative revolution,” said Philip Brett, president of South and South East Asia at TBWA\Asia-Pacific. “He has the right mix of creative passion and people skills to pave the way forward.”

With 24 years of advertising experience managing global brands such as Sony, Fuji Xerox, Nissan, Mandarin Oriental, Nando’s, Lam Soon, Mamee, Packet One and RHB, Hussein has won numerous creative awards including Cannes Lions, One Show, London International and Spikes Asia.

Hussein noted that the move is to push the creative standard to the next level, in which collaboration plays an important part.

“The next year of advertising will be very different,” he told Campaign Asia-Pacific. “Hence, getting the right people is very important and hopefully I can contribute. We have been working together, such as on the DiGi account [telco brand], in Malaysia.”

It is believed that he has stakes in Creative Juice\Kuala Lumpur, which he pioneered in Malaysia in 2007, and was instrumental in numerous award-winning campaigns for RHB, P1, Nissan and Nando’s.

“We have always had high regards for Sa’ad in our group,” Aaron Cowie, chief executive officer of TBWA\Kuala Lumpur, said. “With Sa’ad as chief creative officer, the TBWA\Group in Malaysia is well-positioned to realise its creative ambitions and business growth.”

Cowie stepped up as managing director in September, following the retirement of the TBWA-ISC Malaysia chairman Austen Zecha. It is said that TBWA moved to acquire Zecha's shareholding of about 30 per cent, and rebrand the agency as a purely TBWA outfit.

TBWA entered Malaysia in 2001 via a joint-venture with Zecha and ISC forming the ISC Group of companies which then comprised TBWA-ISC, Tequila-Myalo, and Wizard Media Dynamics. The TBWA-ISC\ Malaysia advertising agency merged with sister integrated services company Tequila-Myalo\ Malaysia in 2009.

Zecha founded ISC in 1994 and is credited with creating the award-winning 'Malaysia Truly Asia' campaign for Tourism Malaysia in 1999. Under the ISC name the agency was one of Tourism Malaysia's creative agencies for 12 years until last year when it withdrew from the tender process due to "ambiguity in the process".

In November, Zecha relaunched ISC. A soft opening of its new office was held by its chairperson Rafidah Aziz and deputy chairman Yusli Mohamed Yusoff. Zecha serves as an adviser at ISC, which offers services in advertising, design, digital or interactive services as well as relationship management and events, promotions and public relations.

In January, TBWA\Group Asia-Pacific promoted Alrick Dorett to the new and expanded role of chief operating officer for both Singapore and Malaysia. TBWA\Malaysia then strengthened its creative team with two appointments the following month, naming a creative director and associate creative director.

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