Staff Reporters
May 13, 2024

Move and win roundup: Week of May 13, 2024

L'Oréal Thailand, VML, Initiative, Finn Partners, Buick, UM, Dentsu, BCW, Hill & Knowlton, and more in our weekly collection of people moves and account news.

Campaign compiles a new 'Move and win roundup' as each week progresses. 
This edition will cover May 13 through May 17, 2024. 
Catch up on past people moves and business wins

L'Oréal Thailand has officially appointed McCann Worldgroup Thailand as its digital full-service agency, fully responsible for the creative, integrated marketing services and social media management of the L'Oréal Paris brand in Thailand. With a 27-year partnership already in place, this extended collaboration aims to enhance digital, social media, and influencer capabilities. 

Initative ANZ CEO Melissa Fein, managing director Sam Geer, and chief strategy and product officer Chris Colter have departed the agency to join Accenture Song. They will start at the consultancy once they have served their gardening leave. Fein spent more than six years at the IPG Mediabrands agency, joining in 2017 from sister agency Ensemble. Geer has worked in Mediabrands for close to a decade, joining Initative in 2018 from sister agency UM. Colter also joined Initative from UM and has been in the Mediabrands organisation for more than 12 years. 

Warner Bros Discovery (WBD) has announced Buddy Marini as Japan's new GM. Based in Tokyo, Marini will join the company in June and report to WBD Asia Pacific president James Gibbons. In his new role, Marini will oversee all operations in Japan except the theatrical and Warner Bros Studio Tour Tokyo: The Making of Harry Potter businesses. He will be tasked with driving growth and revenues business-wide, including expansion across distribution and sales strategies, digital platforms and local anime production. Most recently, he founded global mobile platform Mangamo, offering one of the largest mobile manga libraries to fans worldwide. Prior to this, Marini was GM, Japan for gaming company Supercell, and CEO for Hulu Japan. 

Bacha Coffee has appointed integrated communications agency, AKA Asia, to represent the brand for media relations in Singapore. The brand offers Arabica coffees, gifts and coffee accessories and has expanded across Asia, the Middle East and Europe. 

VML has appointed Alfred Wong as its new chief creative officer of Hong Kong. Wong joins from Media Arts Lab Shanghai, TBWA's dedicated agency for Apple, where he served as executive creative director. Wong's career began at Leo Burnett Hong Kong, where he rose to ECD, leading the agency to rank among the top three in the SAR for three consecutive years. He later moved to Shanghai as chief creative officer at ADK before transitioning to Media Arts Lab Shanghai. Wong's 2021 'Shot on iPhone' film Nian won the Best Short Film at Tribeca X, Best in Show at Adweek’s Brand Storytelling Awards, and a feature in Variety. Wong has already started his new position and will report to VML's CEO, Maggie Wong.

Initiative has announced the appointment of three new senior client-facing roles in their Asia-Pacific RHQ office.  

  • Hatty Wetzki has been appointed regional client business director. Wetzki joins with nearly 11 years of experience at Nike in EMEA as marketing director. As regional client business director, she will help Nike build Fame and Flow across key markets around APAC, rolling out global strategy.
  • Lucy Jacobsen has been appointed group client director. Before Jacobsen joined Initiative, she was previously the APAC lead for the Google Cloud portfolio at EssenceMediacom. She will lead the Amazon AWS business for Initiative APAC.
  • Sheena Deutscher has been appointed senior communications design director. Deutscher joins Initiative from her previous role as a client-side placement at Chanel through the luxury brand’s agency, PHD. In her new capacity, she will apply her global cross-category experience to deliver strategic global priorities and planning services to the Lego brand around APAC.

Finn Partners has promoted Annouchka Behrmann, formerly senior partner, to managing partner, Hong Kong, while Cathy Feliciano-Chon assumes expanded role as managing partner, strategic development, Asia Pacific, from her previous role as managing partner and Greater China lead. Behrmann joined Finn in October 2023 and quickly secured marquee new business wins for the Hong Kong office. Feliciano-Chon joined Finn in 2019 as managing partner and is a key member of Finn Asia’s management team.  

McCann Worldgroup has appointed Lalita Koehler as global president of Craft, the network's global creative production agency. With over 20 years of experience, Koehler makes the move to Craft from Publicis Groupe where she has been chief production officer, Publicis Productions (PXP) since 2021. Prior to that, Koehler was head of production & chief operating officer at Saatchi & Saatchi, Los Angeles from 2015 to 2023, overseeing Toyota. Her brand experience also includes Yahoo!, Dom Pérignon, Myspace, AT&T, Walmart, Ubisoft, and Apple, among others.

BurdaLuxury has named Annesha Sanyal as country director, brand solutions & marketing, effective immediately. Sanyal will be responsible for the leadership of all sales and marketing operations across BurdaLuxury India, which include brands such as Travel + Leisure India & South Asia, Lifestyle Asia India, Architecture + Design India, as well as the company’s in-flight magazine portfolio. Sanyal previously served as general manager at Worldwide Media.

Data, creative and performance marketing agency Jaywing has appointed Fran Martin as senior brand strategist in a newly created role in Melbourne. Martin will integrate with Jaywing Australia’s client service, creative, and paid media teams to develop innovative campaigns and optimisation plans. Operating from the Melbourne office, she will collaborate with brands such as Online Education Services, New Balance, and Crocs, focusing on generating and analysing insights. Martin's appointment is set to bolster Jaywing’s data, tech, media, creative, CX, search, PR, and content capabilities.

Fortress Games has appointed Organic, One Green Bean, and the Havas Network to manage the brand's PR, social media, and content. Organic and One Green Bean will primarily set a strategic communications vision for Fortress Games in Australia and globally. The agencies will also handle ongoing consumer and trade publicity, including events, corporate profiling, general consumer awareness, social media content creation, and strategy.  

Kenneth Chan has left Mindshare to join Dentsu in Hong Kong as strategy director. Chan spent more than two years at Mindshare, where they spearheaded business planning, audience insight and data.

The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has appointed Gusto Collective as its public relations and digital/social consultancy partner for the Chinese market. Gusto Collective will support the STB’s mission of positioning Singapore as a vibrant and inspiring destination, bringing to life its ‘Made in Singapore’ global brand campaign. It will introduce fresh perspectives on Singapore’s attractions and experiences, showcasing the city-state’s natural beauty, cultural richness, and emerging status as a thriving Asian innovation and creative centre. In the meantime, Gusto will also work on Singapore's standing as a global hub for Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions (MICE) that deliver meaningful business outcomes and impact.

B-Quik Indonesia has hired a creative digital agency, Lion & Lion, to drive a brand marketing campaign in Indonesia. This collaboration aims to enhance brand visibility, attract new customers, and bolster the car service and maintenance centre's market presence.   

FCB India has appointed Mayuresh Dubhashi as the agency’s new chief creative officer. Dubhashi will be at the forefront of FCB India's creative efforts, partnering closely with FCB India's CEO, Ashima Mehra. His role extends beyond FCB India, as he will also be a key member of FCB Group India's creative leadership, collaborating with leaders across agencies to continue elevating the work across the network.

RGA Australia has appointed Marie Conley as executive strategy director. Conley was formerly a strategy partner at The Pharm/VML, WPP’s global partnership with Walgreen Boots Alliance.

Independent creative agency Special has won Cricket Australia's business for the upcoming marquee men's and women’s International Series. The agency won the company following a competitive pitch process. Special has been tasked with creating a unifying idea for the international series that will drum up excitement and enhance its role as a must-attend event during the summer. 

XPO: The Mars Agency, the connected commerce company, has officially rebranded as Mars United Commerce, reflecting its transformational growth into a full-service commerce marketing partner for brands and retailers. Mars United Commerce fully embodies the ongoing evolution of the commerce marketing industry. The name has been adopted by all of The Mars Agency’s operations worldwide.

The Dubs Agency has appointed Jackie They as the general manager of its new Singapore office. This strategic appointment marks the expansion of The Dubs in the Asian market. She previously served as senior vice president of digital marketing at Citi, content solutions consultant at LinkedIn and head of content at BBDO.

Northwestern University in Qatar has announced the appointment of Singaporean Nisar Keshvani as assistant dean for communication and public affairs. At Northwestern Qatar, he will work on shaping and advancing the school’s profile as a US institution in the Arab World, spearheading communications on strategic initiatives, designing and implementing internal and external communications, and aligning them with Northwestern Qatar’s mission and values. Keshvani joins from the National University of Singapore (NUS), where he was founding senior associate director of strategic communication at the Faculty of Arts and Science and communications co-lead for the recently launched NUS College of Humanities and Sciences. He also served as a resident fellow with NUS’ Temasek Hall, supporting pastoral care and overseeing sustainability, theatre, dance and overseas missions.

Automotive platform Carma has appointed Sling & Stone as its communications agency of record to educate and build trust in the pre-owned car buying and selling processes. The partnership will see Sling & Stone support Carma’s expansion across Australia through an integrated earned media, social, and content-driven approach.

Grow Public Relations (Grow PR) has been appointed the official public relations and communications agency for Finexis Advisory, a Singaporean financial advisory firm. Through this engagement, Grow PR will be the public relations lead in communications and content creation on behalf of Finexis for one year.

BCW and Hill & Knowlton, which will merge as of July 1 to form Burson, have named Adrian Warr as CEO of South Asia-Pacific, covering the agency’s business in India, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia. He will join Burson as of September 16th. Before joining Burson, Warr spent the last 10 years with Edelman in various roles in the Asia-Pacific region. He was awarded Campaign’s Greater China Agency Head of the Year in 2021. Before Edelman, he spent 12 years in London as a partner with Portland and in various roles in his seven years with Hill & Knowlton. Matt Stafford departed BCW immediately from his role as president of Asia-Pacific.

SAIC-GM Buick has appointed McCann Worldgroup China as its full-service agency after a competitive pitch. The agency will be responsible for the creative and integrated marketing services of Buick's main products in China. SAIC-GM owns three major brands: Buick, Chevrolet, and Cadillac. McCann Worldgroup China has established long-term collaborations with SAIC-GM's Chevrolet and Cadillac brands. Additionally, the agency previously engaged in a two-year partnership with Buick. 

Abhinay Bhasin has been appointed.

Judson Teo, former head of marketing at Foodpanda,  has started a new position as group head of marketing and marketing advisor to startups at Block71 Singapore. An initiative by NUS Enterprise in collaboration with corporations and government agencies, Block71 is a tech ecosystem builder and global connector.

UM China's chief strategy officer Jocelyn Tse has left the agency, as announced in a LinkedIn post. Tse joined the agency in 2021. She was a Cannes Lions 2023 Creative Data Awards jury member. She was selected for the Campaign’s Women to Watch APAC list in 2023. Before joining UM, she was the lead strategist and founder of MMSN in China. Tse was head of strategy at Isobar China before that. Before moving to Shanghai in 2019, she worked for numerous agencies in Hong Kong, such as JWT, FCB, Ogilvy, TBWA, Leo Burnett and DDB. 

Campaign Asia

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