Staff Reporters
Nov 30, 2020

Move and win roundup: Week of November 30, 2020

MediaCom, Integral Ad Science, DDB, Alive, TheAsianparent, VMLY&R, T1, Red Bull, Publicis Groupe, Nielsen, MSL, Eight Partnership, Grosvenor Asia Pacific, Akcelo, Lines Consulting, Singapore Sports Hub, Mutant, Asia Pulp & Paper, Kingdom Digital, Publicis Groupe, Media Monks, Adgile Media, Wavemaker Asia-Pacific and more in our weekly collection of people moves and account news.

MediaCom China is expanding its global sport and entertainment division to China as Chinese consumers seek new ways to incorporate athletes and gaming in their lives and sports viewing and participation numbers rise across multiple platforms in 2020. Howard Thompson, CSO of MediaCom China will lead the new division. Globally, the agency's sport and entertainment division has already advised, negotiated and executed partnerships in more than 40 countries and agreements worth more than $1 billion. 

Ad verification firm Integral Ad Science (IAS) appointed Mehul Desai as country head of India to lead product innovation and business operations locally. Based in Pune, Desai brings more than 20 years of experience in building and leading innovative technology businesses to his new role at IAS, along with experience in engineering and R&D. Most recently, he was the chief operating officer at Scan-IT, where he led technical and business operations. Previously, Desai was the director of software at Fiserv, leading the delivery unit of the company’s Technology Centre of Excellence and also previously worked at Avaya as senior engineering manager. 

DDB Group Singapore has promoted Thomas Yang and Benson Toh as executive creative directors to lead its regional and local accounts, respectively. The duo will jointly take charge of the agency’s 102-strong creative department, spearheading integrated campaigns. The agency group has also hired Mario Van der Meulen as head of customer experience, Ida Ong as engagement director, Ravi Eshwar as creative director, and promoted Herry Budiyanto to head of technology.

Yang steps up from deputy ECD to lead DDB's creative output while Toh assumes responsibility for Tribal in Singapore. Listed as one of the top 10 highest-ranking creative directors at Cannes in 2011, Yang has won numerous D&AD, One Show, Spikes Asia, AdFest, and the Creative Circle awards. Similarly, Toh has been recognised at AdStars, Cannes, Canberra International Film Festival, D&AD, London International Awards, New York Festival, and Spikes Asia. Previously the principal consultant for technology, Budiyanto will continue to lead a team of 30 technologist in his new role as head of technology for TX. He is tasked to develop agile solutions for commercial and public sector clients and cement partnerships with enterprise brands such as Adobe, Sitecore, Microsoft, Alibaba Group, and GovTech. Van der Meulen joins as head of customer experience for TX. Previously with Frog Design Shanghai and Foolproof Singapore, he has over 25 years' experience working on brands like DBS, Visa, Amgen, and various Singapore government agencies. Ida Ong joins as engagement director in the TX business consulting team. With previous stints at Publicis Sapient and VMLY&R under her belt, she has eight years' experience delivering business and technology solutions for Ford, Castrol, and Telkomsel on their digital marketing and transformation initiatives.

Nitinan Assavathorn (Nikki) has joined theAsianparent Group as country manager for its Thailand team. Nikki brings with her more than 15 years of experience across various industries and business functions. Nikki has extensive experience from both the founder and leader’s perspective. Nikki founded MeetNLunch, which was acquired by Lunch Actually Group in 2015 and prior to joining theAsianparent, she was CEO of Infinity Levels Studio (that was acquired by VVR Asia in 2017) and Thailand country head of M17 Entertainment.

Singapore-based brand experience and activation agency Alive has joined creative agency collective The Mission Group. Alive was founded in 2015 by Charlotte Birley and Winston Murray and has three core business units - brand experience, customer experience, and digital experience. Clients include Changi Airport Group, Under Armour, Lendlease and Western Union. 

VMLY&R New Zealand has announced Fleur Head is stepping into the role of managing director  following the resignation of current MD James Mok. Head was previously managing director of VMLY&R Wellington. Head, who has more than 25 years agency and management experience across both the Auckland and Wellington markets, will be closely supported by James Johnston who moves into a managing partner role. Johnston, previously client services director at VMLY&R Auckland, will report directly to Head. Mok, who was appointed managing director of VMLY&R Auckland in early 2019 will leave the agency to pursue a creative leadership position.  He leaves at the end of December to ensure a smooth and collaborative leadership transition.

Global esports joint venture T1 and Red Bull have announced a multi-year global partnership spanning the organization’s entire esports portfolio in a deal brokered by Sportfive. The partnership will span all of T1’s powerhouse rosters, competing in League of Legends, Valorant, Fortnite, Super Smash Bros., PUBG Mobile and more. The deal further expands Red Bull’s long history in esports and gaming, which encompasses its own events, pro players, content creators and teams around the globe. The partnership will give T1 access to Red Bull’s performance infrastructure, such as its Athlete Performance Centers in Austria and Santa Monica, where Red Bull sports athletes such as Max Verstappen, Leticia Bufoni, and Fabio Wibmer train, facilitating development in and out of the game.

Publicis Groupe announced the appointment of Eddi Yang as general manager of MSL Beijing to lead their overall operations and business development in Beijing. The Groupe also appointed Liza Zhang, general manager of MSL Shanghai, to general anager of MSL Shanghai and Guangzhou, to oversee the Shanghai and Guangzhou markets and fully leading business in two markets. It also gave Kathy Zhao, general manager of Publicis LifeBrands Beijing additional responsibility of the Shanghai, to oversee daily business activities and operations in both offices.

Nielsen names Jamie Moldafsky as chief marketing and communications officer. (Read full story here).

Eight Partnership will craft the brand for Grosvenor Asia Pacific’s new development on a site in Tokyo’s central Ginza district named Cura. The hybrid 13-storey retail and commercial building is due to be completed by end 2022. The name of the new 6,600 square metre building is Cura, developed by Eight’s global specialists supported by the firm’s Tokyo-based team to reflect the character of the project as a retail and office space. 

Brand experience and innovation company Akcelo appointed Anne Ngo as martech and customer strategy director. She will be charged with helping clients grow their customer marketing and martech maturity. Ngo has more than 15 years of experience in a variety of marketing roles with specialisations in customer lifecycle and retention strategy, digital marketing and martech enablement and design of data-driven, integrated multi-channel marketing solutions. She spent almost 10 years at American Express (AMEX), both in Sydney and New York, where she rose to become director, strategic partnerships, global network services. She has also served as head of marketing, cards and insurance at Latitude Financial and head of marketing at fintech player FlexiGroup.

Integrated communications advisory Lines Consulting appointed Agnes Suen as director. She has more than a decade of experience in financial communications, both agency and in-house, and most recently founder and leader of Vocal Communications Asia, a financial PR agency. Prior to that she was associate director of the finance practice at Hill and Knowlton Asia.

Singapore Sports Hub has appointed Mutant as its public relations agency following a competitive pitch. The sports, entertainment and lifestyle hub is seeking to strengthen its positioning and thought-leadership through a public relations strategy. Mutant will be charged with reaching new audiences and building brand affinity.

Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) appointed Kingdom Digital as the digital agency for its tissue brand PASEO Singapore. The appointment follows a virtual pitch in March. Work started in October and Kingdom Digital is responsible for social-media management, including content planning and development, community management and influencer campaign executions.

Publicis Groupe appointed Anthony Wong as chief client officer for Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa, a newly created role based in Singapore and reporting to Loris Nold, Publicis Groupe's CEO for Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa. Wong most recently served as head of marketing for Livi, a China fintech startup, which followed a stint as EVP and global head of brands at Shangri-La. Prior to that, he held senior roles during a decade at WPP, including regional president of global clients and strategy consulting at Ogilvy APAC and global client lead on Huawei. 

MediaMonks, the creative digital production arm of S4 Capital, has announced new hires as it formally launches its creative operations in Australia. Leading the new creative capabilities will be Kim Jerbo, Shea Warnes and Mark Shunji Davies. Jerbo joins from Leo Burnett Sydney where he was digital creative director. Strategy director Warnes has been digital strategist in London before coming to Sydney where he’s worked Havas, VMLY&R and DDB and Shunji Davies joins from Grumpy Sailor as executive producer.  

Stu Carr and Erin Rolla have joined Adgile Media, a provider of TV data and effectiveness solutions. Carr joins as Adgile’s new director of customer insights, where he will support clients with their data and analytics capabilities, identifying and driving improvements to their media and marketing efforts. He comes in from Publicis Groupe where he was their head of Measurement at Starcom and, before that, the head of Analytics & Insight for Publics Media ANZ. Rolla is Adgile’s new customer servicing lead, coming from Seven Network as campaign lead in Strategy & Solutions and senior investment manager at PHD earlier. Both new hires will report into Craig Service, Adgile’s chief customer officer.

Eunice Loh has been promoted to head of Precision, Wavemaker Asia-Pacific. She was previously Digital & Platforms director, Wavemaker South East Asia. Wavemaker’s Precision covers data and tech strategy, audience sciences, digital excellence and measurement and analytics services and is part of the agency's Consultancy Hub that combines experts within the areas of data, analytics, content, commerce and technology into one unit. 

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