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Marketing Featured East Asia

Dentsu Creative China names Richard Tan as CEO

Shanghai, China Dentsu China has recently announced the appointment of Richard Tan as CEO of Dentsu Creative China. His appointment will be effective on November 16 this year.

Tan will be reporting to Deric Wong, CEO of Dentsu China, and will be leading about 1,200 strong teams across Dentsu’s offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Nanjing, and Wuhan. 

He is expected to accelerate growth for the group’s extensive client base while championing innovation to drive greater integration to Dentsu’s creative services to media and its customer experience management.

Speaking on his appointment, Tan said, “I am passionate about balancing bold creativity with sustained business impact in China’s dynamic digital ecosystem. I love where DENTSU CREATIVE is heading and leading with ‘Modern Creativity’… through a simplified but compelling proposition that navigates practical challenges in the modern world of complexity.”

Prior to joining Dentsu Creative, Tan held several senior management positions as country head in various agency networks in China for 20 years. This includes Euro RSCG, DDB, and Mullenlowe China.

On Tan’s appointment, Wong commented, “I am pleased to welcome Richard as he takes on the leadership of Dentsu Creative China. We live in a time of exciting possibilities and Richard as a seasoned agency leader will continue to build on the momentum with dynamism.”

He added, “Our leadership team looks to work closely with Richard, to continue building on our bold strategies to fuel market-leading growth and help brands create lasting good with meaningful progress, as Dentsu continues to evolve in China’s digital era.”

Tan will be replacing Dentsu Creative China’s incumbent CEO Keita Ishikawa, who will be moving on to a management role at Dentsu Inc. in Japan.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Keita-san for everything we’ve achieved together under his transformative leadership and wish him our best in his new role,” Wong further stated. 

Cheuk Chiang, chief executive officer at Dentsu Creative APAC, also said, “There is no creative leader in China more experienced than Richard. As we take Dentsu Creative to the next level, he is well placed to deliver success. He lives and breathes creativity.”

Since its launch last June, Dentsu Creative has been continuing its series of leadership appointments with Benny Augustine for India, Cheuk Chiang for APAC, and four new hires for its global leadership team.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Braze appoints Astha Malik as new CMO

New York, USA Braze, the comprehensive customer engagement platform that powers interactions between consumers and the brands they love, has announced the appointment of Astha Malik as its new chief marketing officer, effective 27 June. Malik joins Braze following the retirement of former CMO Sara Spivey, earlier this month. She will be reporting to co-founder and CEO Bill Magnuson and will join the executive leadership team at Braze and will oversee all global marketing functions.

A tech industry veteran, Malik brings more than 20 years of experience building brands, driving innovation, and accelerating revenue growth. Most recently, Malik served as chief operating officer of VTEX, where she oversaw the company’s global go-to-market strategy and operations, global marketing, global enablement, growth people operations and strategic alliances. Throughout her career she has also held leadership positions across a number of premier technology companies including Zendesk, Citrix, Sumo Logic, and PagerDuty.

Malik also serves as a board member for software companies Greenhouse and Everlaw. She is also an active advocate for diversity and leadership and has received the Stevie Award for Female Executive of the Year as well as the Business Leadership Award from the National Diversity Council.

In her appointment, Malik said,“I’m thrilled to be joining the Braze team and to lead marketing for a brand trusted by marketers at customer-centric companies around the world.” 

Malik added, “There’s so much opportunity ahead for Braze to keep shaping the future of customer engagement through its growing community of marketers, developers, and customer engagement teams. I look forward to joining the talented team and accelerating the momentum in the company’s next growth phase.”

Magnuson said, “Astha brings an exciting array of experience, perspective, and talent to our leadership team.”

“She has a proven track record of growing global, leading, technology companies and building top-performing teams. Her addition to Braze will be instrumental as we continue our next phase of growth as a public company,” Magnuzon added.

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Marketing Featured South Asia

Azeus Convene appoints Kapil Lad as new head of global marketing

India – Azeus Convene, a board portal and management software under Azeus System Holdings, has announced the appointment of Kapil Lad as head of global marketing. In his new role, Kapil will take a leadership position to drive coordinated marketing initiatives for Azeus Convene, oversee the GTM activities, strengthen the marketing processes, and work very closely with sales strategy teams to bridge meaningful connections between sales and marketing teams.

Based in India, Kapil joined Azeus Convene last month from Atos, a French multinational information technology (IT) service and consulting company where he worked as global head of digital platforms, and head of digital marketing for Atos|Syntel for nearly 6 years. Kapil will report to Michael Yap, CEO, executive director and deputy chairman of Azeus Convene.

An extensive B2B marketing leader with over 16 years of experience, Kapil has proven experience with implementing marketing strategies, achieve larger business objectives, increase brand reach and penetration, growing organizations digital and social footprint, and influence sales pipelines through integrated marketing strategies. In his previous stints, Kapil has worked with CitiusTech, ABP Group, and Rank Uno.

On his appointment, Kapil said, “I am quite excited to join Azeus Convene family at such an interesting juncture. Convene is a highly secure, compliant and a unique solution which is trusted by executives and board of directors of FTSE 100, Fortune 500, financial institutions, governments, and non-profit organizations in more than 100 countries.”

Kapil added, “As a company which is on a growth trajectory and rapidly expanding its presence across multiple geographies, I look forward to strengthening the marketing efforts, increasing our branding presence and boosting the demand of our products from multiple regions.”

Michael Yap, CEO, executive director and deputy chairman of Azeus Convene, shared, “Azeus has been rapidly growing its global footprints, servicing customers from some 100 countries. We are investing heavily in talents from India, and we are thrilled to have Kapil on board. We look forward to his contributions in bringing deeper market penetration globally.”

Meanwhile, Lakshman Prasad Singh, board director of Convene India Pvt. Ltd. added, “Convene India is committed to its investment in India. Our journey in India started in 2019 with a vision to setup global R&D & support centre for the Azeus products and services. I welcome Mr. Kapil Lad to the Convene India Family which has now grown to about 100 members.”

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

GroupM appoints Nitin Kumar as chief investment officer of Vietnam

Vietnam – GroupM, a WPP media investment group, has elevated media agency veteran Nitin Kumar to the role of chief investment officer at GroupM Vietnam. Kumar will be based in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam and will assume the position on 1st July 2022, taking over the reins previously held by Huyen Trinh.

Formerly the Principal Partner of Products at GroupM Indonesia, Kumar has spent more than one and a half decades immersed in the media and marketing industry. From client leadership to trading, investment, general management and most recently, products development, Nitin accumulated a wealth of experience across key remits at the world’s biggest media investment company including significant tenures at GroupM agencies – Wavemaker and Mediacom.

Nitin has worked with a star-studded roster of clients including P&G, Heinz, Coca-Cola, Wipro, Airtel, Del Monte and many other brands across India, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

Nitin will report to both Himanshu Shekhar, CEO of GroupM Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam as well as Anita Munro, GroupM’s chief investment officer for Southeast and North Asia, who also chairs the APAC Investment Committee.

Commenting on his appointment, Kumar said, “I am thrilled to join GroupM Vietnam whose roster of local and global advertisers makes for an eyewatering portfolio. Together with my investment team, I look forward to leaning into our local and regional partners to create differentiated and market-leading advantage for brands. We will help our clients unlock even more premium content, data, and first-look rights as well as offer beta testing and priority access to premium inventories.”

Himanshu Shekhar, CEO of GroupM Indonesia, Thailand & Vietnam, shared, “Nitin’s all-round expertise in media strategy, planning, negotiations, trading and product development makes him a highly valuable leader to drive our investment vision and roadmap for Vietnam. This is one of the fastest-growing markets in Southeast Asia with latent potential, and I’m confident that with Nitin’s entrepreneurial skills and commercial acumen, he will be able to lead the team to extract maximum value for our clients in a rapidly evolving digital media ecosystem.”

Meanwhile, Anita Munro, chair of GroupM’s APAC Investment Committee, said, “GroupM Vietnam has built a strong investment legacy that will be further advanced with Nitin at the helm. As he focuses on enhancing the partnerships in-market and augmenting our investment capabilities across all channels, our clients will be able to enjoy far-reaching value.”

Munro added, “In partnership with our regional investment team, Nitin will lead the delivery of GroupM’s Responsible Investment Framework in Vietnam that entails building a diverse, sustainable and high-quality media ecosystem that our clients can invest in confidently now and in future.”

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Ryan Jamboretz named president of commercial and partnerships at Smartly.io

New York, USA — Smartly.io, a social advertising automation platform for creative and performance marketers, has announced the appointment of Ryan Jamboretz as president for commercial and partnerships.

When Jamboretz joined Smartly.io in 2021 as its first chief strategy officer, he was focused on leading Smartly.io’s mergers and acquisitions (M&A) strategy, as the company accelerated its growth. In his new role, he will oversee sales, customer success, strategic partnerships and M&A, keeping Smartly.io at the forefront of the industry as it continues to propel customers forward at the bleeding edge of the social media ecosystem.

Prior to joining Smartly.io, Jamboretz held the position of chief development officer for advertising agency Amobee. Previous to that, he was the chief commercial officer, and international managing director and chief developmental officer for ad agency Videology, Inc.

Jamboretz’s expertise in growing global B2B SaaS platforms, maximizing economic value for global businesses, and driving corporate development outcomes support Smartly.io’s focus on expansion. He also has experience working in North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific, which is valuable as Smartly.io focuses on increasing its global presence.

Laura Desmond, interim CEO of Smartly.io., said, “Smartly.io is a superior player in the social media advertising landscape, and we are quickly taking that expertise to digital advertising as a whole. We are constantly building unique opportunities for our customers with the world’s largest platforms, from Meta to Google to TikTok and more.”

Desmond added, “Our customers are at the forefront of everything we do as we push our organization to be truly global, expand our footprint to brand-centric advertisers and leverage our performance DNA to navigate the toughest challenges facing our industry’s landscape.”

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

FCB SHOUT unveils slew of key hires

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – FCB SHOUT, a Malaysian-based creative agency and part of the global FCB advertising network, has announced the appointment of five new senior hires to bolster its brand management team.

FCB SHOUT’s General Manager, Syahriza Badron, said, “The growth we’ve seen in 2021 has continued over to this year. And with our new hires, we are in a stronger position than ever to keep delivering top-flight work for both our current and newly acquired clients, while also ensuring the capacity for even more new growth opportunities.” 

Timothy Teh joined the team as Brand Director, bringing over 15 years of expertise from a number of global agencies to the table with him. Having previously worked on brands such as AmBank, HSBC, Standard Chartered Bank, Audi, Proton, Samsung, 100Plus, Strongbow and Apple Fox, Teh also had stints on the client side. He was Brand Manager at Big Bad Wolf Books as well as the Brand Lead for the book retailer’s Thailand, UAE and Myanmar markets, and was most recently Brand Manager at Spritzer, a Malaysian mineral water brand, before joining FCB SHOUT.

Syahriza shared, “Tim’s expertise with client organisations and his exposure to regional markets will provide invaluable insights as we continue ramp up our cross-border business. His experience with financial brands will make him a key asset for our finance and banking portfolio.”

The second Brand Director to join FCB SHOUT, Chin Yee Wen has been in the creative industry for over a decade, working on diverse client portfolios such as BenQ, PPB, Harta Bina, 50 Megumi and many other Malaysian brands. 

“Yee Wen’s strongest point is her competence in a multitude of categories; she is our jack of all trades. Her experience with independent agencies is completely in line with our #NoPlanB spirit where we are hands-on, full-on and always-on.” Syahriza said.

Meanwhile, Kevin Choong will come on board as the communications planning director. Choong has 16 years of experience in advertising as well as digital and retail marketing with brands like Nestle, Samsung and Novartis in Malaysia, and AIA, Total Oil and Vinci airports in Cambodia. 

Syahriza commented, “Kevin will work closely with me to bring our strategies to life via our integrated communications planning framework, ensuring that we continue to deliver effective solutions within an increasingly fragmented media landscape.”

Also joining FCB SHOUT as Associate Brand Directors are Kong Pooi Ling and Melanie Mustapha. Both have over 10 years of advertising experience and, according to Syahriza, will play key roles on key accounts. “Mel and Pooi Ling add further depth to our already significant FMCG experience and, just as importantly, bring a youthful energy to our team with them,” said Syahriza.

All five appointees will report directly to Syahriza.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Unilab taps OMG Philippines as media agency of record

Manila, Philippines — The Philippine pharmaceutical giant, Unilab, has appointed Omnicom Media Group (OMG) Philippines as their media agency of record. The selection process was led by Unilab’s internal media team and has challenged participating agencies to showcase their capabilities, tools, and strategic principles through several brand case presentations. The partnership will be effective from July 1, 2022.

OMG will be responsible for managing the pharmacy brand’s legacy media, strategy, planning, investment, media activation, digital performance, and data-led marketing intelligence and science. Leveraging on the agency’s propriety planning workflow – Omni, the team stood out from the competition with a structured omnichannel strategy that empowers the brand with data-driven solutions that cut across stages of the funnel.

Alex Panlilio, corporate VP of Unilab, Inc., commented, “Today’s dynamic consumer and market landscapes require businesses to have sharper insights, growth-driving strategies, and agile engagements with its stakeholders. We have seen the capability of OMG to enable us in these and we look forward to partnering with Mary and her team in accelerating data-driven and disruptive initiatives.”

Meanwhile, Mary Buenaventura, CEO of OMG Philippines, shared, “As we move forward in this endemic world, we are excited to kickstart this new journey with Unilab. With the combination of our unique expertise, market-leading capabilities, and strategic thinking through our people, we are confident to support Unilab in their growth ambitions.”

Commenting on the appointment, Joanna C. Mojica, division VP for consumer health management of Unilab, Inc, said, “As we face massive challenges in today’s business environment, OMG is able to demonstrate the breadth and depth of how we can partner together. We look forward to the fruition of a partnership that will enable our brands to deeply connect with our consumers.”

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Global growth agency Aiken Digital merges DX Agency Onyx Island

Singapore – Aiken Digital, a global growth agency that specialises in growth consulting, experience design, system development, creative & content, XB ecommerce and SaaS products, and Onyx Island, a digital experience agency in APAC, has announced the completion of the merger between Aiken Digital and Onyx Island, with a total workforce strength of 80 based in Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

In connection with the merger, Onyx Island will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Aiken Digital. This merger will see a synergistic collaboration between the both agencies and evolve their offerings to serve the combined customer base of Aiken Digital & Onyx Island. Currently, the combined clientele includes Mastercard, L’Oréal, Luxottica, LVMH, Sotheby, L.D. Waxson, Beam Suntory, Cortina Watch, Philip Morris SG/MY, Salesforce APAC, NTUC and more.

From this merger, Aiken Digital will be known as Aiken Group, which will streamline its core businesses into 4 key business units as follows: Aiken Digital – Digital Consulting & Services, Fixx Labs – Web 3.0 & Blockchain Solutions, Social Commerce Cloud, and Esports & Gaming.

Following the closing of the merger, Aiken Digital will strengthen their ranks with a few key leadership positions within the Singapore and Malaysia operations. The agency will appoint Danny Murong as the chief operating officer (COO) at Aiken Group, Zhi Wei Koh as the creative director, Joshua Ooi as the Project Management Office Lead (PMO) and Wei Liang Lee as the Technical Lead.

Joseph Chua, CEO of Aiken Group, said, “Building upon our proven track record of successful M&A, this merger combines our expertise in consulting and digital experiences as we reimagine what we can deliver to customers as a leading global growth agency. We look forward to Onyx Island’s team joining Aiken Digital, further cultivating a shared culture of innovation and driving even greater value for Aiken Group’s stakeholders and partners.”

Danny Murong, managing director of Onyx Island, shared, “Onyx Island has been reshaping the digital experience landscape for the past 10 years, helping our clients to improve the user’s experience through digital platforms/products. We stand for innovation and unwavering support of our clients and their business operations and now we are extending our commitment to exceptional service and innovation. 

Murong added, “Combining our assets and talented team with Aiken Digital’s experience in this field creates a remarkable growth agency to serve the needs of all our existing and future clients. Collectively, we will deliver even more value and innovation to customers, enabling them to thrive in this increasingly complex multi-cloud era.”

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Chrystel Ilano Acuna named as new director of marketing communications for Shangri-La Group in PH

Manila, Philippines — Luxury hotels and resorts company, Shangri-La Group, has appointed Chrystel Ilano Acuna as its new director of marketing communications for the Resorts. This appointment will serve as a return for Acuna to the hospitality company after previous stints.

Acuna will be responsible for leading the marketing teams and the initiatives for Shangri-La to cater to the easing of borders and travel restrictions. In her new role, she will be prioritising the return of international guests and how they can consider Mactan or Boracay as their holiday destination.

She holds an extensive understanding and knowledge of the hospitality business and the marketing industry. Prior to returning to Shangri-La, she was with Chroma Hospitality as marketing communications and digital manager leading the Crimson, Quest, and Timberland marketing teams. Prior to that, Acuna was with Shangri-La Group as a digital marketing executive handling the Philippine properties and before that, she was with Makati Shangri-La as a digital marketing executive, marketing executive and corporate trainee – communications. Her first job was with Acacia Hotel Manila as a marketing communications assistant.

Commenting on her appointment and coming back to Shangri-La, Acuna shared, “I’m excited to return to Shangri-La Group and to elevate the campaigns of resorts as we welcome back international travellers.”

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Marketing Featured APAC

Remitly appoints Rina Hahn as new chief marketing officer

Washington, USA – Remitly Global Inc., a digital financial services provider for immigrants and their families in over 160 countries around the world, has announced the appointment of Rina Hahn as chief marketing officer (CMO).

Hahn came to Remitly from Blue Nile, an online retailer of certified diamonds, engagement rings, and fine jewellery, where she served in a variety of roles, including as the director of acquisition, overseeing global marketing for the company. She joined Remitly as the director of digital marketing before moving to drive customer acquisition as the vice president of growth. Hahn led marketing activities that saw active customers grow 42 percent year-over-year in Q1 of 2022. Since joining Remitly, Hahn has been a key contributor to the company’s growth and has helped deliver on its long-term vision to be the most trusted financial services provider for immigrants and their families around the world.

In her appointment, Hahn said, “Since my first day at Remitly, I have been inspired and driven to uphold our brand promise to our customers.”

Hahn added, “Given the success and scale that we’ve achieved, it still feels like we are just getting started. I am as energised by this opportunity today as I was when I walked in the doors at Remitly. We have a great team, a meaningful vision, and a real opportunity to improve the lives of hundreds of millions of immigrants everywhere.”

Meanwhile, Matt Oppenheimer, co-founder and CEO, Remitly, commented, “Rina has been an integral part of our growth since she joined our Marketing Team in 2018.” 

“Rina’s dedication to our mission to help solve these problems for our customers has been inspiring. Her stewardship over our customer acquisition and brand development has Remitly well positioned to capture our growth milestones along with a focus on continuously improving marketing efficiency. I am so excited to have her on our executive team for her energy, her leadership, and her commitment to help improve the lives of our customers and their families back home,” Oppenheimer adds.

Rob Singer, Remitly’s previous CMO, will continue to serve in an advisory role through September 2022 to support a smooth transition.