Marketing Featured ANZ

Red Havas launches ESG comms offering Red Havas Impact in AU

Melbourne, Australia – Red Havas has announced the launch of ‘Red Havas Impact’, the agency’s ESG communications offering, in Australia. This follows its launch in the USA, Europe, Middle East, and Africa in September this year.

Said offering brings together Red’s deep environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) expertise and capabilities from across the world. The practice is the result of increasing demand for global approaches to purpose-driven strategic communications. 

Red Havas has cultivated a deep understanding of purpose and ESG-driven communications with extensive global credentials and award-winning experience in purpose-driven work. Alongside global capabilities, Red Havas Impact draws on additional strengths from the broader Havas Village, particularly research and planning through Havas Labs, to offer insight-led strategic solutions.

Global CEO James Wright welcomed the launch of the new practice in the Australian market, which will be led by managing partner Matt Thomas from the agency’s Melbourne office and service clients across Australia and New Zealand.

“Red Havas Impact brings together the depth of experience within the global Red Havas micro-network combined with the powerful insights capabilities of our strategy and research teams to support clients to tackle the big issues of our day,” Wright said.

He added, “As a practice area, it draws together our expertise across sustainability, health, technology, employee communications and corporate communications, market research, strategy and brand to create work that helps our clients to meaningfully connect and make a positive difference to their stakeholders.”

Meanwhile, Thomas commented, “Across the globe we are seeing big shifts in the expectations from consumers, governments and communities that brands should do better and be better. Reputation, brand equity and social license to operate are now inextricably linked. Through Red Havas Impact we leverage skills and experience from across Havas Australia’s service offerings, informed by global best practice, to help our clients to navigate this often complex space.”

Marketing Featured ANZ

WPP’s new training program in AU to kickstart career of emerging creative talents

Sydney, Australia – Global creative transformation company WPP has launched a new training program in Australia called ‘Breakthrough Cadetship’ to provide emerging talents with a passion for creativity the opportunity to kickstart their career within WPP in Australia.

The ‘Breakthrough Cadetship’ is part of WPP’s talent transformation agenda enabling WPP to source Australia’s future-ready talents.

The inaugural program, run out of Sydney, sees eight candidates experiencing four three-month rotations across WPP’s award-winning creative and production agencies Hogarth, VMLY&R, whiteGREY and Wunderman Thompson. 

The program offers the Breakthrough Cadets the opportunity to develop skills in client servicing, branding, strategy, customer experience, and production, with the opportunity for full-time permanent employment at the end of the program for successful candidates. The candidates commenced their cadetship in September, with an initial one-week orientation.

In addition, the training program was designed for people with a passion for creativity and a curiosity to learn – formal tertiary qualifications and prior industry experience were not required as part of the selection process. Candidates were selected after three rounds, with the final round consisting of an in-person immersion day at WPP’s Sydney Campus. 

The successful candidates bring with them a diversity of experience and skills, including electronics and engineering, zoology, digital health, start-up commerce, innovation, and film production.

Morag Eyles, chief people officer for ANZ at WPP, said, “WPP’s purpose is to build better futures for our people, planet, clients and communities, therefore we need exceptional people to join us on this mission. With the Breakthrough Cadetship, we are developing a new pipeline of talent as part of our ambition to diversify how we work and the work we deliver. We are ecstatic to welcome the 2022 Breakthrough Cadets to WPP and look forward to growing together with them on their journey.”

Meanwhile, Rose Herceg, president for ANZ at WPP, commented, “At WPP, you can build a career for life; it is something we are proud to support through learning and development, mobility and open doors across our network of companies. We created this Cadetship to attract and develop the next generation of leadership within our industry, ensuring we maintain the skillsets needed as our clients’ creative transformation partner. I am delighted to welcome the first cohort of Breakthrough cadets and wish them well on their career pathway within WPP.”

Marketing Featured ANZ

Indie health communications Bastion Brands now part of Havas Group’s Australian network

Sydney, Australia Integrated communications network Havas Group has recently announced its acquisition of Bastion Brands, one of Australia’s leading independent communications agencies focusing on the health vertical. The buy-out is said to be in line with the group’s continuation of its plans for the APAC expansion.

Newly acquired Bastion Brands is no stranger to Havas. The group’s health-focused division, Havas Health & You (HH&Y), has, in fact, been working with the latter since 2019. 

Bastion Brands will now be integrated into HH&Y and will work closely with partners across the network to integrate its business into projects across the region.

Simon Davies, Bastion Brands’ founder & CEO said, “We are delighted to be joining the Havas family. The strength and momentum within Havas Health & You will help us accelerate our strong growth in Australia. Now with access to and support from the Havas network, we will be able to offer deeper and broader services to clients, globally developed insights and specialised health products, and even more exciting learning and growth opportunities for our staff.”

Yannick Bolloré, chairman and CEO of Havas Group also commented, “Bastion Brands is recognized for delivering significant and meaningful results for its strong client base of leading pharmaceutical companies across the world. Adding its capabilities to our global Havas Health & You network will provide specialised health communications for both that region and our clients globally. Bastion Brands also complements fast growth within our health PR business Red Havas in Australia, and we’re thrilled to officially welcome the Bastion Brands team to our Group.”

“Continuing our work with Bastion Brands is a perfect fit for our expansion in Australia and Asia Pacific – a region where our clients have many strategic opportunities. We have partnered with Simon Davies and his team on meaningful, high-profile client assignments for several years, and have built a strong and effective relationship to deliver outstanding outcomes. This more formal relationship is a natural progression and I know it will be a successful one – for our clients, for Bastion Brands and for Havas Health & You,” added Charles Houdoux, CEO of APAC & LATAM at Havas Health & You

According to Havas, HH&Y has grown at a rate of more than 20% per year in Asia, and the acquisition of Bastion Brands is aimed at strengthening its position in APAC. 

In addition, as a response to rapid regional growth spurred by increased awareness of health and wellness, the network has made significant investments in its Villages and senior leadership to foster growth across the region. This includes the establishment of a regional hub for Southeast Asia and the strengthening of new talent in Japan and China.

Bastion Brands follows companies like Front Networks in China and Frontier Australia, both have been acquired by Havas Group this year together with many business wins by their specialist entertainment communications agency, Organic Pacific, and partnership with Invictus Blue in Malaysia.

Marketing Featured ANZ

Elliot Giakalis appointed as Bastion Reputation’s principal consultant for media, public affairs

Australia – Corporate communications and business consultancy Bastion Reputation has appointed Elliott Giakalis as its principal consultant for media and public affairs.

Giakalis is an experienced communications and corporate affairs professional with a background in financial law. He was previously with the Australia Post, where he managed the national media team throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, provided strategic counsel to senior executives nationally, and was the speechwriter for successive CEOs.

He also brings valuable experience in state government, where he was previously a senior media adviser to the Victorian Treasurer, Tim Pallas. In this role, he oversaw and executed the media strategy on four Victorian State Budgets and several significant government financial transactions, including the lease of the Port of Melbourne.

He started his career as a lawyer at the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC), with a focus on financial services regulation and compliance and the obligations of market participants, before moving into corporate affairs.

Bastion Reputation Managing Director, Clare Gleghorn, said she was pleased to welcome Elliot to the firm’s growing team. 

“Elliot is a wonderful addition to our team and, as a Principal Consultant, will bring his breadth of skills and deep expertise to continue to support our expanding client base nationally. Elliot further strengthens Bastion Reputation’s ability to help clients, as their trusted advisors, navigate the often-complex intersection between business, government, and the community. The entire team looks forward to working with Elliot as we continue to meet our clients’ needs whilst building the Bastion Reputation business,” she stated.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

APRW launches new business unit, appoints Sharon Koh as its MD

Singapore – Integrated communications agency APRW has announced the launch of its new business unit Digital Studio by APRW in a bid to meet the clients’ burgeoning needs in all things digital and for the web. As part of the new business launch, Sharon Koh has been appointed as managing director for Digital Studio by APRW.

The new business is an end-to-end digital solutions outfit, which will have deep capabilities in various technical areas to enhance its value-add to all digital stakeholders’ communication needs. In addition, the new business will drive its suite of digital services alongside APRW’S thriving PR practice. The plan to elevate the digital business is not a surprise, as technology and digital communications is the nervous system that links corporate strategy, finance, innovation, operations, and talent in today’s organisations.

“Digital Studio by APRW will comprise of professional specialists leading several functions – including performance and influencer marketing, video production, design and creatives, content marketing, account servicing, strategy and business development,” Koh said.

The new business unit is also a strategic move to attract and retain talents. It provides present and incoming team members with many career and growth opportunities – including different career pathways for the various functions, either a specialist or generalist track; and the possibility of job rotation. 

“Digital Studio by APRW will groom aspiring young talents under the guidance of senior colleagues who will provide mentorship and training to build upon their expertise, and nurture them to become experts in their respective practice. They will also be encouraged to deepen their expertise through continuous learning programmes,” the agency said in a press statement.

Koh further explained that the vision for Digital Studio by APRW was birthed when she first joined APRW to start its digital practice, with a strong focus on social media and Content Marketing. She noted as well that it has been an exciting, rewarding yet challenging journey over the past eight years and APRW’s existing digital practice has grown from strength to strength. 

“We are grateful to have gained trust and confidence from clients across multiple industries, establishing a solid foundation to pave the way for Digital Studio by APRW. With the various specialty functions in place, dual goals are achieved – value-add to our clients with expanded integrated digital solutions, and expand the knowledge base and capabilities of our team members,” she concluded.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Redhill acquires HK marketing firm Creative Consulting Group

Singapore — Redhill, a full-service global communications agency headquartered in Singapore, announced the acquisition of Hong Kong-based marketing and PR firm Creative Consulting Group (CCG). This marks the first acquisition for Redhill and is part of the firm’s efforts to scale globally and regionally.

The agency aims to strengthen its presence and service offering in Asia, and for the newly-acquired CCG, now part of the Redhill family, to continue to deliver serving clients in Hong Kong and the Greater China region.

CCG was founded in 2001 and has been delivering communication solutions to various business sectors, namely banking, finance, lifestyle, real estate and professional services, among others. The firm has handled top-value clients like JP Morgan, Cushman and Wakefield, and Bank of Singapore in their portfolio.

Belinda Chan, founder and managing partner at CCG, said, “We are thrilled to join the fast-growing, award-winning and highly-motivated Redhill family and are looking forward to incorporating a wider spectrum of clients with our diversified expertise. We have been in Hong Kong for 20 years and the team is ready to embark on a fuller professional journey and a promising breakthrough in our careers. With roots in the dynamic Greater China region, we join forces with Redhill to bring both our achievements to the next level.”

Jacob Puthenparambil, CEO of Redhill, commented on the acquisition, saying that the company has long admired the excellent work of CCG, both having built a strong working relationship over the past two years.

“CCG brings with it not only regional experience and presence but also a high-quality team in Hong Kong and Greater China region. This is an important milestone for Redhill as we set our sights on acquiring like-minded agencies across the world, as we further our mission to be a global agency with Asian roots,” Puthenparambil said.

This January, Redhill announced the elevation of several employees across four key divisions following its 2021 end-of-year appraisals to augment its talent development across emerging areas of expertise and services within the agency.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Redhill unveils new internal promotions to focus on talent dev’t

Singapore — Redhill, a full-service global communications agency headquartered in Singapore, has announced the elevation of several employees across four markets following its 2021 end-of-year appraisals. This is in line with Redhill’s focus on talent development and aligned with the agency’s growing areas of expertise and services.

For its content and research division, the new promotions are namely Imran Arif as director for content and research, Karin Chan as senior manager for content and research, and Hannah Nwaozuzu, as senior executive for content and research.

Meanwhile, the new promotions for its creative and production team include Mark Goonewardene as design director, Dulesh Fernando as design team lead, Suraj Maddumage as tech team lead, Nizam Raban as video team lead.

The agency’s PR and communications team also saw a slew of promotions, namely Kenneth Chew as senior account manager, while Eugene Nonis, Victoria Mak, and Tanwarat (Minnie) Tiyapongprapan are promoted as account managers. Meanwhile, Julene Low and Shelton Chang are promoted to senior account executives; while Nea Tateanna, Dominic Lee, Joye Wong, and Audrey Oricelli are promoted to account executives.

Lastly, Wasana Botheju is promoted to the role of the executive for finance and HR as part of the agency’s operations team. Pranav Rastogi, managing director of Redhill, commented on the promotions, saying that people are the most valuable asset of any business, adding that talent development and growth is one of the company’s biggest priorities.

“We invest significant time and resources to give their team the skills and competencies they need to succeed in their roles. I’m delighted to recognize our team’s hard work and dedication and look forward to the continued growth of my colleagues as they assume their new roles and responsibilities,” said Rastogi.

The promotions will support the agency as it continues to broaden its integrated communication capabilities and public affairs offerings across verticals – technology, hospitality and tourism, luxury and lifestyle, finance, healthcare, corporate and investor relations, and reputation management.

Last November, the full-service global communications firm also appointed several managing directors to different teams of key regions to bolster their senior leadership.

Marketing Featured ANZ

Bastion acquires NZ agency Shine

Sydney, Australia – Following the company’s recent global rebranding from Bastion Collective, independent agency Bastion has recently acquired New Zealand-based agency Shine, a fifty-member team––now being added to Bastion’s team, accounting to more than 300-count workforce across offices in Melbourne, Sydney, Auckland, Los Angeles, and New York.

Bastion’s acquisition of Shine sets it to become one of the largest independent communications agencies across Australia and Asia.

Through the acquisition, Shine will be rebranded as Bastion Shine, consisting of clients such as Air New Zealand, telecom Spark, energy company Genesis and Tip Top. Together, they will be joining Bastion’s global roster of clients, including Microsoft, Google, KFC, AIA, L’Oreal, and Carl’s Jr. 

According to Simon Curran, co-founder and CEO at Shine, they were looking for a partner that can help them scale their business more quickly than they can alone. Curran also noted that Bastion had given them the opportunity to not only access global markets in Australia and the US, but also to bring new capabilities into the New Zealand market.

“We weren’t really interested in being swallowed up by a global network, and after a meeting of minds and philosophy with Jack and the Bastion team, we knew we had found the right partners. They’re building a global independent model that has all the benefits of being part of a group, with the advantages of being independently run. For Shine, it’s an ideal scenario and we’re hugely excited about the opportunities this presents,” said Curran. 

Meanwhile, Jack Watts, founder and global CEO at Bastion, commented that their recent acquisition of Shine reflects their recent move of making a ‘New World Agency’, where they look for a partner who thinks wide across the breadth of communications disciplines, and believes that the future of agencies is independence at scale.

“In the team at Shine, not only did we find this, but we also we found a shared set of values and principles that I have rarely experienced. For more than a decade we have both built similar businesses on either sides of the Tasman and to unite now is beyond exciting for our business, our people and our clients. It felt right from the first meeting,” he added.

He also stated that creating the largest independent communications agency in Australasia mirrors the fact that more clients want independence after being under-serviced by multinational agencies.

“Looking back, March of 2020 was one of the defining moments in the 12 year history of Bastion. We quickly set in place a plan and we have stuck to it ever since. That plan was to make difficult decisions early, and then accelerate out hard as the multinational agencies were still waiting for someone in London or Paris to tell them what to do,” he stated.

Watts further added, “And that is exactly how it has played out. Since June of 2020 our business has been experiencing unparalleled growth as we continue to grow existing, and win major new accounts by providing clients access to wide thinking across the breadth of communications services, combined with deep expertise.”

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

RICE appoints Raymond Lau as SG account director

Singapore – Strategic communications consultancy RICE has appointed Raymond Lau as the new account director in its Singapore office, where he brings over a decade of journalism, agency and in-house experience, and will be leading key accounts as the firm’s client portfolio continues to grow.

Prior to RICE, he led chemical company Linde’s digital communications function in Asia-Pacific, where he oversaw internal and external communications activities across the region. He previously served as regional public relations manager for consumer electronics company Razer, driving the company’s global and regional communications campaigns.

Lau began his career in journalism, contributing to publications like The Straits Times, Yahoo! News, Hardwarezone and Techgoondu.

Speaking about Lau’s appointment, Mayda Jutahkiti, general manager for Singapore at RICE, commented, “We are thrilled to have Raymond join our team. Having worked across both agency and in-house roles, and with extensive experience in B2B and technology sectors, he brings valuable perspective and depth to the table.”

She added, “We look forward to working with Raymond as we continue to hire consultants across all levels and expand the team.”

RICE also recognizes the promotions of three consultants: Lizzy Li and Eugenia Siah have been promoted to senior account managers and Lydia Lee to account manager.

Marketing Featured APAC

Redhill strengthens agency lineup with new MD appointments

Singapore – Redhill, a global communications agency based in Singapore, has announced its new managing directors namely Marienelle Castelino and Tavy Cussinel, in response to their growing clientele base in the Asia Pacific.

Through their new roles, Marienelle will deepen her focus on brand leadership and corporate mandates in markets across Asia-Pacific, specifically Singapore, Indonesia, India, and Cambodia, while Tavy will focus on growing the agency’s education, healthcare, luxury, and lifestyle portfolios.

Marienelle joined Redhill as regional director of strategy in November 2017 and brings over 13 years of experience in brand communications and corporate reputation to the agency. Prior to Redhill, she held client leadership roles for marquee brands like McDonald’s, Pepsi, Mondelez, Coca-Cola and P&G.

Meanwhile, Tavy became Redhill’s director of strategic communications and rose quickly through the ranks. She has spent over two decades working with household names such as Calvin Klein Cosmetics (UK), Parfums International (Europe), Unilever Cosmetics International (Europe), Coty, Rimmel, and Adidas. Previously, she founded and scaled a public relations agency in London, which she sold in 2011 to focus on raising her family.

“I am excited to see the additional growth that Marienelle and Tavy will achieve for Redhill as they build on the excellent work that they have done during their years with us. Despite the pandemic, Redhill has continued to expand and we are ready to push ourselves even further – both in markets and in verticals,” said Jacob Puthenparambil, CEO and founder of Redhill.

He added, “I have full faith in our leadership team to steer the wider Redhill family to greater heights as we focus on our end goal – to become the DBS or Singapore Airlines of the communications world.”

To add to the recent appointments, Redhill has announced the promotions of several Redhill executives namely Marion Ang and Jaslin Tan as senior account managers; Dipti Jaiswal and Clara Tan as account managers; Joseph Ng, Ruth Tan and Septy Wulandari as senior account executives; and Adriana Abidin, Junyi Kuo and Angelica Muk as account executives.

“At Redhill, we are committed to the development of our employees and building a strong culture of internal growth. Each of these individuals has shown dedication and commitment to the success of their clients and the agency, and I congratulate them on their well-deserved promotions. An agency is only as strong as its team, and as I look at our fantastic Redhill family, I am confident of our success,” Puthenparambil added.

Redhill’s recent promotions aims to bolster their existing clientele base, including recently of circular fashion Style Theory, where they were appointed as public relations partner for the brand in Singapore.