In an email to Campaign Asia Pacific, Cairns (pictured) said “Love has today announced that the agency will be closing its Shanghai office over the next three months.”
“The Shanghai operation was opened in 2011 to expand the agency client base in China," Cairns wrote. "The office has delivered projects for global brands such as Johnnie Walker and Nike, with a number of key projects delivered and the initial objectives fulfilled.”
Love’s board members now feel the agency can best service these client relationships from the Manchester and London offices, which Love plans to expand over coming months.
An agency source in Shanghai with connections to the agency told Campaign that staff members have been informed about the closure.
“It is such a pity," a source commented. "The more smaller independent agencies there are, the better. Competition is a good thing."
Poor business results may be behind the closure, but according to observers close to the industry in China, opening a new firm in the country demands patience. Results may take three or more years to come through.
When Campaign reported Love’s Shanghai’s opening news in December 2011, the agency’s creative director Dave Palmer said, “we actively wanted to open in Shanghai, rather than Hong Kong or Singapore, despite the difficulties involved, to demonstrate our full commitment to China.”