Welcome to the 2007 CEI Asia Pacific Readers' Choice Awards, as voted for by you, the readers of this magazine. Over the following pages we have covered the best cities, convention bureaus, national tourist offices, resort destinations, hotels and convention and exhibition centres, to present the best of the region's CEI facilities for 2007. These results have been compiled and researched by Synovate, a leading global research company, underlining the independence and the robustness of the study in compiling the true opinions of CEI Asia Pacific's readership.
The CEI Asia Pacific 2007 Annual Industry Survey has seen a big surge in responses. This year's survey also underline a welcome trend in seeing more responses from key decisionmakers at senior levels. This often-elusive group of decision-makers have the most sought after opinions and views in the industry.
The CEI Asia Pacific 2007 Annual Industry Survey, conducted by global research company Synovate, collects the views and opinions from the meetings, exhibitions and incentive industries in the region, along with their predictions for the upcoming year.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts is proud to sponsor the CEI Asia Pacific 2007 Annual Industry Survey for the second consecutive year.
NEW YORK - Corbis has teamed up with the Art Directors Club (ADC) to give a special award for digital media work produced on a pro bono basis for a non-profit organisation.
HONG KONG - Google has launched its ad-serving product AdSense in traditional Chinese, opening up the online advertising tool to a new community.
SINGAPORE - MICA, Singapore's Ministry of Information, Communication and the Arts, has appointed FutureBrand and Weber Shandwick to create an umbrella positioning for the Lion City.
JAKARTA - Sinar Mas, the conglomerate that owns Asia Pulp & Paper, is reviewing agencies for an upcoming telco offering, with a brief worth up to US$30 million.
HO CHI MINH CITY - Coca-Cola has handed its soft drinks portfolio in Vietnam to Ogilvy & Mather, following a three-way shootout against Leo Burnett and incumbent Lowe Vietnam.
SHANGHAI - McCann Erickson has appointed three new MDs to run its offices in Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong following a major reshuffle of its China management that sees the departure of MD for McCann Erickson Guangming China, Don Norris.
ASIA-PACIFIC Linda Locke has been forced to relinquish her role as regional ECD at Leo Burnett after nearly a decade at the agency, as part of the Publicis Groupe agency's global shake-up of its executive suite.
1 The Malaysia Airlines pitch Media predicted this one back in February, only to be met with bristling denials from Leo Burnett. Picture our lack of surprise, then, when MAS decided to 'park' the business with Publicis and review its agencies in September. Eventually, Ogilvy and MindShare snared the account but - by then - we had almost lost interest. 2 BBDO's less-than-stellar presentation to Motorola Why did Omnicom pull TBWA into the regional Motorola pitch with only a week to prepare? Wasn't it supposed to be a shoo-in for Motorola's globally-aligned agency, BBDO? 3Batey to get new home Bates? Grey? Y&R? Everyone's favourite game of 'guess the suitor' ended with Batey being placed in the care of JWT. 4Michael Maedel moves to Asia Perhaps JWT's global HR department could use some extra hands. After all, it appears that the international president only knew about his overseas relocation after Media did. Why else would he tell us in late July that the 'rumour' about his relocation was "hugely exaggerated"? 5 Chris Jaques resigns After rumours began in Cannes, the forthcoming departure of the Y&R Asia chief rapidly became an open secret, leading to ever more speculative forecasts as to his next port of call. The eventual outcome however surprised everyone - Y&R North America. 6BlueFocus up for sale And has been for the last eight months, though you'd never get it confirmed from the horse's mouth. So if you're not one of the five global networks bidding for the Chinese shop, you might still be able to outbid the latest caller, Huntsworth. 7 SingTel to enter pay-TV In September 2005, CEO Lee Hsien Yang let slip SingTel's pay-TV ambitions. And until the official announcement was made a year later, the telco's corp comms fielded the same daily query: when? 8Torie wants out of China While some (Universal McCann) may have wished Torie Henderson's dissatisfaction with her Shanghai posting was less of an open secret, others (OMD) may think otherwise. 9BBH opens in Shanghai Last month's heady coverage of BBH entering China rang a bell with Media. Here's why: the news first ran in April. Last year. 10 Steve Garton's promotion Imagine keeping a juicy secret - like a new global position for Synovate's regional director - for eight long months. A challenge indeed for the research company, which struggled to keep the news under wraps until a successor was found.
1 Video sharing fever hits China YouTube's US$1.65 billion sale hit the headlines in the US but the launch of 150 YouTube-style video sharing sites in China this year alone, led by the likes of tudou.com, 56.com, pomoho.com, 5show.com and qyule.com, showed how a distinctly different dynamic is unravelling in the world's second-largest internet market. 2 Death of the traditional banner A shift from regular banner ads to rich media this year confirmed advertisers are no longer satisfied with a digital imitation of a print ad. 3 Motorola paves the way Hooking up webcams to banner ads and launching an iTunes-style music service in China marked Motorola as the digital marketer to watch. 4 Jack Ma's star shoots skyward Ma's dominant Taobao put the squeeze on eBay, while the sudden exit of his man running Yahoo China sparked fevered speculation on what the internet baron will do next. 5 Brands subsidise mobile Getting advertisers to pay for consumers surfing WAP sites looks like a smart move by new venture MyClick. 6 Governments stump up millions Singapore's US$600 million earmarked for its digital media industry, with Vietnam set to approve similar plans, has supercharged Asia's digital outlook. 7 Richard Lee's risk management PepsiCo's Lee walked the walk with Pepsi's 'Dare for More' ethos, launching bold interactive campaigns giving consumers unprecedented control. 8 e-Crusade snapped up The Hong Kong hotshop's acquisition by Seattle-based Avenue A|Razorfish flags up Asian digital shops as the latest must- buy. 9Nintendo targets non-gamers The super-hyped Nintendo Wii, aiming to blow open the traditional market for gamers, should get brands taking a second look at gaming. 10Viral gets viral An angry man on a Hong Kong bus proved the power of viral. The people love it, but brands can't crack it.
1India's cricket bidding saga Last year's savage bidding war escalated even further this year, with Nimbus stepping in to snatch the rights from the original bidders ESPN Star Sports and Zee TV for a whopping US$612 million, almost twice the size of the original winning bid. Raging inflation for sports rights in Asia is rapidly making current broadcast business models obsolete. 2 GMA's Weapons of Mass Attraction An advertising package developed by the Philippines' dominant broadcaster, GMA Networks, offering advertisers end-to-end marketing services, including creative, gave agencies the jitters, with the country's 4As claiming it will make agencies irrelevant. 3 Australia eases up on media ownership Prompted by the Australian Government's relaxed regulations on cross-media ownership, assorted media barons and conglomerates have offloaded stakes in their businesses, fattening up their war chests for a busy 12 months ahead. 4Sgboy.com's brand-friendly makeover Singapore's gay website underwent an "extreme makeover" to relaunch as trevvy.com, adding advertiser-friendly content and formats as the battle for the pink dollar in Asia takes off. 5 Easyfinder fires up censorship debate Hong Kong's Easyfinder, a racy showbiz title, ran a semi-nude picture of Twins singer Gillian Chung, taken through a spyhole, on its front cover. It sparked public anger, while advertisers deserted the title in droves. 6 Super typhoon prompts outdoor crackdown Several deaths caused by flying billboards uprooted by super typhoon Milenyo, with many erected illegally, were the catalyst for the OOH regulatory body in the Philippines to get a lot tougher. 7 Apple Daily squashes rivals in Taiwan The Apple Daily juggernaut went from strength to strength in Taiwan, forcing rival entertainment newspapers Min Sheng Daily and The Great Daily to shut their doors in November and February respectively. 8 SCMP chief has a sense of humour failure A farewell mock front page led to the departure of two long-serving reporters after South China Morning Post editorial boss Mark Clifford took issue over the language used. 9Agencies cough up for ratings After 10 months of protracted wrangling, Singapore's media agencies finally agreed this month to pay for TV ratings data they had been getting for free. How much they are contributing however, still remains unclear. 10Tatler and Prestige head to court Luxury title Prestige took Tatler to court in Singapore, claiming the latter was using a biased readership survey. Synovate's Steve Garton got involved as the star witness; Prestige emerged victorious. The title then spammed reporters globally to make sure they were aware of the court decision.
BEIJING Saatchi & Saatchi has boosted its creative resources in Beijing as part of aggressive business plans for key clients, Toyota, Lexus and Sony Ericsson.
1 Rodd Chant on Tourism Australia "I'm an Aussie but I have never said 'So where the bloody hell are you?' Believe me, I have a penchant for Aussie slang, and the odd verbal expletive, but I have never uttered the above statement. Actually, if you were to make a statement like that in Australia, you would end it with 'ya', not 'you'." 2 Erik Vervroegen on Mercedes-Benz South Africa "I must say I'm not a big fan of exploiting people who are destitute for the sake of selling a luxury car." 3 Jennifer Tan on Singapore Tourism "As for the print work, this is so below par for Singapore Tourism Board. Did the client take the shots?" 4 Ray Chan on Hang Seng Bank, Chinese New Year "In a season of trite, red and gold bloated flatulence, this one's a mildly relieving release of wind." 5 Andres Vejarano on Coors Vietnam "If you think a market is important enough to launch in, at least allow the agency a credible level of creative, production and media budget to do it properly." 6 Paul Catmur on Heinz "There is always something positive you can say. Consequently I've had a good hard look at these Heinz ads, and I reckon they were probably quite cheap." 7 Paul Catmur again, on McDonald's China "The phrase 'Feel more beef taste' has left me with some disturbing mental images Ronald wouldn't approve of." 8 David Guerrero on Coca-Cola "If it wasn't for the fact I had Pepsi tattooed on (my son's) arm soon after he was born, he might even want to try the product." 9 Christine Brendle on Rexona Vietnam "The commercials seem not only puerile, but crude to the point of being rude. Grow up." 10Andy Blood on his reviewing robot "Stupid robot. You've gone soft. I'd never be that generous."
SHANGHAI Sony BMG China has signed a content partnership deal with Shanghai-based digital hip-hop music service Dai-Biao to host and promote its artists.
1Chinese consumers find their voice The last 12 months witnessed a watershed in China as increasingly cashed-up, internet-connected and vocal consumers took action against SK-II (chemicals in products) and Dell (false advertising), sparking product recalls and a class-action lawsuit respectively. Brands would do well to accept that the age of true Chinese consumerism has now begun. 2 Thai ad ban gives alcohol brands headaches Thailand's post-coup legislature was quick to implement a ban on all alcohol advertising, only to relax it slightly when the big players threatened to withdraw sponsorship support of sports and events. Even so, an additional two per cent 'sin tax' was still put in place. 3 Livedoor Japan falls from grace For a lesson in how to run a company into the ground, look no further than Japan's Livedoor. Headed by the flamboyant Takafumi Horie, the rising online venture crashed back to earth when he and his cohorts were arrested on suspicion of security fraud. 4 Playboy sparks fiery protests in Indonesia The racy title launched in 1953 and, five decades later, in strongly-Muslim Indonesia, it attracted widespread protests, resulting in advertisers running in the opposite direction and an office relocation to mainly-Hindu Bali. 5 Another pesticide scare for colas in India For the second time in three years, Coke and Pepsi India were hit with a pesticide scare. Proving that old dogs can learn new tricks, both tackled the issue to alleviate concerns and get their drinks back on shelves.6 M&C Saatchi India's 'Some scars never go' Mock ads for a skincare client, which linked the World Trade Center, Hiroshima and Bhopal tragedies with the strapline 'Some scars never go', were uploaded onto an industry website - M&C Saatchi fired the art director responsible for the work. 7 Rolling Stone trips in China Rolling Stone had a baptism of fire at its launch, after a China court ruled it was published illegally by licensee One Media Group. 8Zoe Tay swallows Singapore celebrity mom Zoe Tay created a ruckus with her 'My secret to beautiful skin? I swallow' Imedeen ad. Many described it as another gargantuan lapse in judgement by Tay. 9 M&C Saatchi's 'Bloody' ads answer few questions M&C's 'Where the bloody hell are you?' ads for Tourism Australia were banned in some markets for bad language and questioned as not relevant in other markets such as Japan, where the phrase doesn't translate well. 10 Chinese court rules in favour of Starbucks Starbucks China won a victory against a mainland firm using a similar logo, branding and colours, despite Western companies being frowned upon for taking on local enterprises.
1 Chris Jaques, CEO of Y&R North America Clearly, there are benefits to negotiating your next job on the front page of Media. Perhaps it was the striking headshot in our June issue, but three months after Jaques resigned amid predictions that his career at Y&R was over, he was sensationally appointed CEO of North America. The move marked a reunion with former subordinate Hamish McLennan, now ensconced as the agency's global chief in New York, and was promptly followed by Jaques snaring JWT's Ambar Brahmachary to succeed him in the region. Asia's loss looks like North America's gain. 2 Yan Gang, chairman of Citic Guoan He wasn't the first public Sorrell-basher, but jaws still dropped around the world when Yan Gang told reporters that Sir Martin Sorrell "had absolutely no manners, no upbringing and no culture", after abruptly terminating a 14-year partnership between Citic and WPP's Grey ad network, and siding with archrival Omnicom. Yan isn't the first former WPP partner to publicly condemn the 'small big man', but he took up the cause in Asia with gusto. 3 Jureeporn 'Judee' Thaidumrong, founder and ECD of JEH United The soft-spoken ad veteran, dubbed the 'Power Puff Girl' by former colleagues, single-handedly demonstrated Thailand's impossible-to-ignore creative power to the world, yet again - this time with commercials for Smooth E Foam. Rejuvenating the category with an overdue injection of wry Thai humour, the spots wowed judges from across the globe. 4 Abdul Rahman, CEO of Media Prima In 12 months, the CEO of Malaysia's largest media conglomerate has virtually reinvented free-to-air TV in the country. He relaunched TV9 to focus on the fast growing semi-urban Malay target - arguably the region's most visionary media relaunch of the year - and also revamped flagship channel TV3. He also overhauled the venerable but ailing Malay Mail as a brash young read, launched two radio stations to tap new niches and just this month bulked up his outdoor portfolio with three major buys. Media can't wait to see what he'll add to his credentials next year. 5 Prasoon Joshi, ECD of McCann-Erickson India and Southeast Asia You've got to be really good to make it both inside and outside of the agency, and the hands-on ECD - affectionately known as 'India's ad guru' - is easily that. Joshi didn't slow down after working his magic on McCann's celebrated opus for Happydent, spectacular proof of how soaring sales can be the reward for world class creativity; he also penned the lyrics for chartbusting Indian movie, Rang De Basanti, recently selected as India's official entry for both the Golden Globes and the Oscars. 6 Les Buckley, group commercial director of Asia Pacific Breweries The renowned author has been kept busy by his flagship brand, Tiger. Not content with calling a regional review of the beer's positioning, Buckley kept things lively with a local retainer pitch soon after. Trigger-happy behaviour aside, Buckley signed off on a multi-million dollar TV campaign, easily Tiger's most expensive outing to date, while a hefty local marketing budget saw Tiger become one of the earliest adopters of unconventional media. 7 Erik Vervroegen, ECD of TBWA\ Paris Dubbed the 'rock pornstar' of this year's Spikes conference, Vervroegen's celebrity appeal made the 29-year old Frenchman the only speaker who could draw a ballroom full of guests away from the sun and surf. His stellar work for campaigns such as PlayStation and last year's Cannes-winning HIV message did a lot of the talking, while the fans and groupies - Media included - hung onto every word. 8 Manuel Quiogue, marketing director of GMA Networks Manuel Quiogue - Meckoy to his friends - was the name guaranteed to elicit an opinion out of just about anyone in the Philippines' ad industry this year, whether they loved him or just loved to loathe him. The marketing director of the archipelago's most powerful metro broadcaster spooked agencies with a tantalising offer to advertisers - a budget-friendly package bundling together media space and creative chores, dubbed 'Weapons of Mass Attraction'. Several sources have confided to Media however, that the industry's self-reflection Meckoy provoked was long overdue. 9 Michael Birkin, Asia-Pacific CEO and chairman of Omnicom Numerous trips to India earned Birkin something of a rockstar status among the local business press, but the group's India strategy remains the subject of much debate after Birkin spent the whole year fending off questions about Omnicom's plans. There were some deceptively encouraging signs last year - the hire of Keki Dadiseth, and the acquisition of Gotocustomer - but Birkin's high-profile tours across the subcontinent seem to be far from over. 10 Mr Brown, political satirist, blogger and former Today columnist The cult Singapore blogger, who used to pen a weekly column poking fun at his country's idiosyncrasies for freesheet Today, was ousted in July for publishing what the authorities deemed a sarcastic critique of recent legislation. The sudden dismissal immediately became the topic du jour on radio stations, blogs and breakfast tables. Media heard that in another life, Mr Brown - aka Lee Kim Mun - was a local adman, which may explain everything.
The twists and turns of this exciting industry leave little time for reflection. As 2006 draws to a close, Media looks back at a year filled with memorable people, events, and quotes