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Marketing Featured East Asia

EssenceMediacom names Benjamin Wei as new CEO in China

Shanghai, China – EssenceMediacom, GroupM’s merged agencies of Essence and Mediacom, has appointed Benjamin Wei as its new chief executive officer in China, which launches in January 2023.

The appointment is effective by October this year, and Wei will be reporting to both Patrick Xu, CEO at WPP and GroupM Greater China; as well as to Rupert McPetrie, CEO at EssenceMediacom APAC.

Wei first joined GroupM China in 2010, and has been leading Essence China’s exponential business growth and expansion of its data-driven media offering over the past three years. During this time, he founded GroupM’s first centralised mobile business unit in the market, delivering creative and media solutions to clients.

Also at GroupM China in 2012, Wei established GroupM’s digital media innovation and thought leadership hub in Beijing, and in 2015 he relaunched the mobile unit to provide integrated mobile services to clients.

Speaking on his appointment, Wei said, “I am honoured to have the opportunity to realise our global vision in China with this role. Essence and MediaCom are two exceptional and complementary companies, and this merger significantly increases our competitiveness and leadership in the market. I firmly believe that EssenceMediacom, as the agency model of the future, will create even more excellent value for our people and clients.”

Meanwhile, Xu commented, “We are incredibly excited about EssenceMediacom, an agency that will be at the forefront of the media industry, and will create cutting-edge advantage and opportunities for our clients, people and community going forward. I believe Benjamin, as a veteran with a proven track record of accomplishments, and a knowledgeable and respected leader, will ensure that we get the very best from the merger.”

Lastly, McPetrie said, “Benjamin has consistently put people at the heart of all that he does. At every stage of his career, he has also developed new capabilities and scaled them with a spirit of entrepreneurialism, as well as established very strong, innovative partnerships with clients. As we look to the future, building our new agency in such a key strategic and unique market, I am really excited about what we will create with Benjamin leading the business.”

EssenceMediacom has also recently announced the appointment of Jin Choi as its chief executive officer for South Korea.

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Marketing Featured East Asia

GroupM’s EssenceMediacom appoints Jin Choi as new CEO for South Korea

Seoul, South Korea – EssenceMediacom, GroupM’s newest media agency that combines Essence and MediaCom, has appointed Jin Choi as its new CEO for South Korea. Choi, who has been heading MediaCom as managing director in South Korea for over three years, will be leading the merged agency, which launches in January 2023.

Reporting to both Michael Beecroft, GroupM’s CEO for Northeast Asia, and Rupert McPetrie, EssenceMediacom’s CEO for APAC, Choi’s appointment will be effective from January 2023. Meanwhile, Jay Lee, who has been heading Essence as managing director in South Korea for over four years, will take up leadership of GroupM Nexus in the market.

The EssenceMediacom merger, which was announced in April 2022, will blend the digital strategy, data, analytics and creative technology DNA of Essence with MediaCom’s scaled multichannel audience planning and strategic media expertise, to create an advantage for clients. The ambition is a technology-driven, scaled agency with a performance mindset designed to excel at what a future-facing agency should do.

Commenting on his appointment, Choi said, “I am thrilled to take on the leadership of our new combined agency, and evolve our innovative thinking and best-in-class solutions, in line with consumers’ lifecycles today and in the future. I look forward to leading our phenomenal team in South Korea, and continuing to partner with our diverse and ambitious clients in delivering excellent work, with an agile and proactive approach.” 

Meanwhile, Beecroft said, “Jin is a modern agency leader, with a great balance of deep technical experience, and a proven track record of building and leading high-performance teams. Since he joined the agency in 2019, MediaCom has grown by over 40% through bringing new clients into the agency as well as expanding scope with existing partners, including an e-commerce assignment with P&G.”

“Jay has done an incredible job working with GroupM agencies across markets for more than 16 years, and whilst leading Essence South Korea, has spearheaded the group’s performance marketing, analytics and consulting capabilities. I am excited to continue working with him in his new role,” he added. 

McPetrie said, “Over the last years leading MediaCom, he has put people at the heart of the operation, built strong and sustainable partnerships with our clients, as well as developed new capabilities and products to help solve clients’ business challenges. With Jin leading our merged business, I am confident that our progress will further accelerate.”

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Marketing Featured Global

GroupM unveils new EssenceMediacom, to integrate Neo into Mindshare

New York, USA – To accelerate innovation for clients and further simplify GroupM’s operations, the media investment group by WPP has unveiled the merger of Essence with MediaCom and the integration of Mindshare with Neo, as well as its new 9,000-strong cross-channel performance platform built on AI technology.

EssenceMediacom is designed to power client growth globally with an agile response to a rapidly evolving media landscape. It infuses the digital and data-driven DNA of Essence with MediaCom’s scaled multichannel, audience planning, and strategic media expertise. Through this, clients will be able to leverage an expanded global organisation founded by two agencies that are strategic complements, designed exclusively to fuel client growth. Essence and MediaCom are already using this operational model for three shared global clients, namely Google, Mars, and NBCUniversal.

Meanwhile, Mindshare and Neo will be operating under the Mindshare brand but will retain and scale Neo’s operating model, focused on pureplay performance solutions, and will integrate this into Mindshare’s full-funnel offering. Neo’s 1,200 digital-first, performance experts and consultants will also be integrated with Mindshare’s 10,000 media specialists and Neo’s digital-first services will be fully embedded into Mindshare and GroupM’s offering.

GroupM Nexus will be composed of 9,000 practitioners globally, collectively responsible for the activation of more than two million campaigns managed by GroupM each year. This global community represents the industry’s leading team of experts in digital channels and platforms, search, social, programmatic, and AI, as well as cross-channel optimisation, and data-driven technologies and software. In addition, GroupM Nexus unites GroupM’s addressable content and TV, AI technology, and omnichannel solutions from Finecast, Xaxis, and GroupM Services into a single unit. The global organisation will be underpinned by a new cross-channel performance platform and international delivery hubs to set new benchmarks for performance innovation and efficiency for GroupM’s agencies and clients.

Christian Juhl, GroupM’s global CEO, said, “Through GroupM Nexus and our agency powerhouses Mindshare, Wavemaker, and EssenceMediacom, we are building a tech-enabled future, side-by-side with our clients, that is accountable to advertisers’ growth goals and to our vision for an advertising ecosystem that works for everyone.”

With these moves, Nick Lawson, MediaCom’s global CEO, will be leading the newly formed EssenceMediacom as global CEO, and Kyoko Matsushita, Essence’s global CEO, will be promoted to the new role of WPP’s CEO for Japan, as the company continues to invest in expanding, high-growth markets, as well as Nicolas Bidon, Xaxis’ global CEO, will be overseeing GroupM Nexus as global CEO.

Lawson noted that the formation of EssenceMediacom builds on the strong and proven relationship between the agencies to create the agency model their clients want for the future — one founded on brilliant strategy and brand-building capabilities, with pioneering digital expertise running throughout. 

“EssenceMediacom will not only help our clients see the bigger picture and reimagine what’s possible; it will also provide opportunities for our people to upskill and train in new areas, further enriching and enhancing their careers,” said Lawson.

Meanwhile, Matsushita said, “Bringing together Essence and MediaCom – each with their own celebrated histories of excellence – will create a truly unique combination of agile innovation and global scale in a single agency.”

Bidon also commented, “GroupM Nexus unites leading media talent, digital services excellence, cutting-edge AI technology and unique scaled partnerships into a new cross-channel performance organisation with one purpose: power growth for our people, our agencies and the amazing brands they represent. We cannot wait to innovate together and unlock new opportunities for everyone.”

Adam Gerhart, Mindshare’s global CEO, said that the merger delivers seamless access to Neo’s digital-first capabilities and a relentless focus on performance models to accelerate good growth. 

“For our teams it means more opportunity and the ability to create greater impact across the world. I’m delighted to partner with Neo CEO Nasreen Madhany as we complete the integration of the two businesses and move into a new future together,” he added.