Shawn Lim
Apr 24, 2024

APAC is a market of inspiration: OMD's George Manas

In a conversation with Campaign, OMD's worldwide CEO George Manas and APAC CEO Charlotte Lee discuss everything from managing agency operations to cookie deprecation to Gen AI, diversity and more.

George Manas, OMD's worldwide chief executive officer, and Charlotte Lee, OMD Asia Pacific's chief executive officer, recently sat down with Campaign Asia-Pacific to discuss the agency’s strong 2023 performance. Both explained how OMD has consistently ranked in the top five media agencies and addressed potential industry challenges.

Key highlights from the conversation included OMD's strategic focus on Southeast Asia and how this regional emphasis has spurred overall business growth and profitability.

Manas emphasised the innovative potential of the Asia Pacific region, influencing global product investments and partnerships. He also highlighted APAC as a source of inspiration, particularly in live streaming and the digital platform ecosystem.

Lee proudly reflected on her first year, noting the successful achievement of key performance indicators including personnel, billings, and new business. She also outlined OMD's ongoing strategy to maintain momentum.

A significant focus was on OMD's adoption of the Agency-as-a-Platform model through Omni, enhancing client service by integrating tools, technology, and talent from across Omnicom Group. This approach has notably streamlined processes, integrating generative AI to optimise marketing strategies and enable faster, more informed decision-making.

In the challenging Chinese market, Lee described a holistic media approach, integrating live commerce fully into their organisational strategy, setting a precedent for innovation in live commerce within Southeast Asia.

Manas also addressed the competitive landscape in China, and when asked about the the GroupM bribery scandal, he declined to comment specifically on the scandal, but emphasised OMD's commitment to ethical standards and client-focused strategies regardless of market disruptions.

Additionally, the transition from reliance on third-party cookies was discussed. Manas detailed OMD's proactive strategies to prepare clients for cookieless attribution models, highlighting their leadership in developing alternative targeting and measurement methodologies. Lee reassured that while cookie deprecation is underway, the current environment still predominantly utilises traditional cookies, advising a cautious approach to adopting new technologies.

Lastly, both executives discussed OMD's commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), with specific initiatives like Omni Women in APAC to support female leadership. They emphasised the importance of reflecting diverse consumer demographics in their leadership and operational strategies, ensuring inclusivity in media planning and client relations.


Campaign Asia

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