Tsai came on board as managing partner in mid-August, while Chen will start work in late November as creative partner. The hiring of the Taiwanese duo follows the appointment of Michael Dee, another Taiwanese creative heavyweight. Dee left DDB China to join The Gate last January as chairman and chief creative officer.
In an excluse interview with Campaign Asia-Pacific, Tsai said: “As the Gate Shanghai office was only ‘re-established’ in early February, it feels like a new startup company and a piece of fresh white paper, although the agency is a London-based agency network.”
Tsai said she chose The Gate over several other offers from 4A agencies. "Although it may be more hard work in a new agency brand, there would be more new possibilities with The Gate, especially with its business model shifting to more digital communications."
Tsai, 42, said she is willing to try something new. "4A will always be there, but such opportunity, you need the right timing,” she added.
In its client portfolio, The Gate Shanghai has Volvo domestic car model the S60, which the agency won in September, and feminine-hygiene brand Elis. The agency has also worked for Philips and Taiwanese-listed FMCG giant Wei Chuan Foods Corp (味全食品).
Tsai said the agency also has a large global confectionary client, though she could not disclose the details as they are still in the process of signing the contract.
In the past several years, a new wave of non-traditional 4A agencies in Shanghai has attracted quite a few young but experienced 4A agency heads. Examples include Anomaly, Leagas Delaney, McGarry Bowen, and Love.