Marketing Featured ANZ

Initiative retains media business remit of energy firm Jemena

Sydney, Australia After a hotly contested pitch, media agency Initiative has retained its media business remit for energy networks owner Jemena Limited, extending a 10-year relationship with the brand. The win also comes with Mediabrands Content Studio (MBCS), a media-fueled content practice of Mediabrands, expanding its creative remit for the same brand.

Initiative will be responsible for all national and local broadcast media buying, print, outdoor, radio, cinema, digital, search, social and addressable, and other media buying such as strategic and communication design responsibilities. Meanwhile, MBCS will handle all creative and production services and executions.

Melissa Fein, CEO of Initiative said that she is thrilled in re-signing a valued long-term partner. She also added that her team is energised in increasing Jemena’s customer base as it expands the network across regional and urban centres throughout New South Wales.

Fein added, “Jemena walks our talk; they are passionate about their customers, ambitious in their plans to decarbonise their networks and totally committed to a sustainable future, all traits Initiative values deeply. And our relationship has just got better with MBCS now on board, they’re an incredibly talented team and our cross-agency collaboration will help us continue to elevate the outstanding work we do on Jemena.”

Retaining its creative remit, Olivia Warren, managing director of MBCS expressed, “Jemena is a fascinating business with so much creative potential. Potential that is greater unlocked by having creative and media harmoniously working together under one roof. It makes collaboration easier, encourages new and gutsy perspectives and ultimately produces world class results for our clients. We can’t wait to get started.”

Meanwhile, Sandra Centofanti, head of strategy & marketing at Jemena Networks added, “Year-on-year Initiative brings fresh, exciting media thinking to the table; they understand our business intimately and deliver consistently strong results. We’re pleased to expand this relationship and onboard MBCS as our creative partners. Their connected approach to creativity and energy for our business was magnetic and we look forward to creating big things together.”

Marketing Featured ANZ

Mediabrands Australia names Geoff Clarke as COO

Sydney, Australia Global media and marketing solutions group IPG Mediabrands has appointed Geoff Clarke as its chief operating officer for Australia. Clarke will retain his chief operating officer role and business growth development responsibilities for Initiative, a global media agency that is also under Mediabrands.

In his expanded role, Clarke will be responsible for driving operational and organisational improvements across the entire group. He will also continue to lead IPG’s transformation agenda throughout APAC while leading the operational integration and working system of Australian businesses. Clarke will also collaborate across the company’s entire client portfolio.

Mark Coad, CEO of Mediabrands Australia said that the expanded leadership role is a timely and well-deserved recognition for Geoff who has successfully led the Group’s transformational agenda.

Coad added, “Geoff is an outstanding leader. While still keeping his fingers 100 percent on the pulse at Initiative, he successfully positioned Mediabrands as an industry leader in the use of automation and BOTs considerably reducing repetitive and menial work and significantly improving the way we work across the entire group.”

In his three-decade media industry career, Clarke has established a background in investment, planning, and media buying. He worked for various agencies in London and eventually obtained a managing director position in Australia in 2013.

In 2015, Clarke started his role in Initiative as a client partner and later on promoted to chief operating officer. He has been instrumental in the agency’s growth and development in Australia.

For his new responsibilities, Clarke commented, “I am going to be busy, but it is an exciting time to be in the industry. My goal is for our clients to engage Mediabrands’ agencies knowing the unique business solutions we offer are fully effective and designed for ambitious growth.  This can only happen when the best operational and procedural innovations are in place and the most talented teams are available to service clients.”

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Maya names Initiative PH as media agency of record

Manila, Philippines – Maya, the newly rebranded and one of the leading financial superapps in the Philippines, has named IPG Mediabrands’ media agency Initiative as its media agency of record. The win followed a multi-agency pitch in October 2022. 

Initiative Philippines will be heading Maya’s integrated media mandate. This includes business analytics, audience understanding, media strategy, planning, offline, and full-funnel digital performance activation for the consumer and business segments of the total Maya portfolio.

“2022 was a tremendous year of brand and business growth as we relaunched from PayMaya to Maya, but the work has only just begun. With even greater ambitions in 2023, we must ensure that all our capabilities across the board are on the cutting edge,” said Pepe Torres, chief marketing officer of Maya.

He also added that Initiative proved to be the right media partner for Maya for being just as invested in its success as they are and being philosophically aligned with their “cultural velocity proposition.”

Paul Atienza, managing partner at Initiative Philippines also said, “Maya is a bold tech maverick that continues to stretch the limits and defy conventions in helping Filipinos make bolder financial choices. We could not be more thrilled to partner with them, driving Cultural Velocity to further protract growth for the Maya brand in years to come.”

Melody Laogan, managing partner at Initiative Philippines added, “This win is a testament to Initiative’s culturally driven and outcome-focused approach to integrated strategic planning. We share the same values with Maya, of being fearless, bold, and progressive. We are excited to raise the bar together.”

Initiative Philippines’ appointment is effective January 2023.

Last May, Paymaya rebranded as Maya with the aim to be known as an all-in-one finance platform for individuals and enterprises. 

Maya Bank’s parent firm Voyager Innovations has also previously boosted its total valuation to unicorn plus status.

Marketing Featured APAC

IPG Mediabrands partners with Scope3 to decarbonize digital advertising

Singapore – Global media and marketing solutions group IPG Mediabrands and software development company Scope3 announced a first-of-its-kind industry partnership today, with the aim of measuring and reducing the former’s clients’ carbon footprint from digital advertising.

Mediabrands will be offering their clients emissions measurement, compensation, and reduction capabilities using the standards established by Scope3, while helping increase the capacity of players across the digital ecosystem to decarbonize media emissions at scale.

The partnership will introduce complementary and mutually dependent services that provide a road map to net zero. This includes measurement and reporting of emissions generated by the end user consuming the ad by augmenting Mediabrands’ existing media consumption carbon calculator. 

It will also include using Scope3’s Green Media Products to achieve carbon-neutral campaign activations, as well as leveraging Scope3’s emissions measurement, while Mediabrands initiate dialogue and collaboration across the digital supply chain to promote ad delivery paths optimised to reduce emissions.

“Our partnership with Scope3 is one of many commitments Mediabrands is making to take intentional steps in support of climate action as part of our broader Media for Good efforts,” said Eileen Kiernan, global CEO of Mediabrands.

She added, “For action to be taken, access to accurate data and reporting is an essential first step. Scope3 provides critical insights and information that enable us to make smarter, cleaner investment choices.”

Scope3 CEO and co-founder Brian O’Kelley also commented, “From the beginning of Scope3, Mediabrands has been an incredible partner. They were the first agency network to purchase Green Media Products as part of a decarbonization strategy. They have tirelessly advocated for sustainability with their clients, vendors, and publishers.”

IPG Mediabrands has also partnered with Amplified Intelligence last year, in its efforts to optimise its clients’ media selections.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

IPG Mediabrands Malaysia appoints Elina Peek-Lantz as new MD for Reprise

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – IPG Mediabrands has appointed Elina Peek-Lantz, former head of digital strategy and planning at Maxis, to be its new managing director of Reprise, the global performance marketing agency within the Mediabrands network.

Peek-Lantz has 17 years of experience working with international teams in corporate and start-up environments as a highly qualified data-driven marketer. In her new role, she will be responsible for innovating Reprise’s product and service capabilities, and will be working in close collaboration with partner agencies UM and Initiative to drive the strategic direction of performance marketing, analytics, and technology channels across all clients. Peek-Lantz will also be reporting to the CEO of Mediabrands Malaysia, Bala Pomaleh.

Commenting on her new role, Peek-Lantz said, “I’m thrilled to join Mediabrands as we expand the Reprise footprint in Malaysia. The current market landscape has created great opportunities for brands to further amplify their online presence, and the Reprise framework of ‘Customer Flow’ is a perfect launch pad for any business looking to incorporate digital strategies and drive business growth. I look forward to expanding the Reprise service and product portfolio as we focus on creating a seamless customer journey for path to purchase.”

Meanwhile, Pomaleh shared that Peek-Lantz comes with deep knowledge of the changing nuances in their digital marketing ecosystem, and they have seen great strides in these new spaces and have been investing immensely in growth areas such as e-commerce, experience design, and performance content. 

“Elina’s role will have a significant influence over the success of our organisation as she works alongside our leadership teams at UM and Initiative to drive digital strategies and create a safe and responsible media environment across our portfolio of clients,” said Pomaleh.

Pippa Berlocher, president of Reprise APAC, noted, “I’m excited to have Elina join our business. Given her entrepreneurial background and experience, I know she will bring great energy and capabilities that both our team and clients will benefit from. Malaysia remains a key market for us in the APAC region, and I’m looking forward to partnering closely with Elina to elevate the craft excellence within our business and drive growth for both our clients and Mediabrands.”

Technology Featured APAC

IPG Mediabrands’ media responsibility index to increase analysis to more than 150 global partners

Singapore – IPG Mediabrands and its intelligence arm MAGNA have unveiled the 4th issue of its signature Media Responsibility Index (MRI 4.0), an initiative that strives to raise industry awareness and standards around harm reduction for brands and consumers in advertising.

The media agency has beefed up its MRI 4.0 with a number of enhancements, starting from the increase in the number of its subjects from 10 social platforms to now more than 150 partners from a variety of media formats across 15 countries. Through this, the media agency said it has transformed the index to now become an actionable toolset.

Further to the changes, the new MRI 4.0 has established four new ESG-aligned priorities for partner accountability.

“We developed our first media responsibility index in 2020 to determine exact protocols of the major platforms, as people started questioning the impact of social media in their lives, from the prevalence of misinformation to hate speech and data-collection practices,” said Elijah Harris, EVP of Global Digital Partnerships & Media Responsibility at MAGNA.

The original MRI, which is a first-of-its kind, was launched in August 2020, in response to concerns about social media platforms not taking steps to acknowledge, measure and reduce their contribution to online and real-world harms.

The newly improved index further allows for teams and clients to incorporate brand and consumer safety priorities into their investment decision-making for a variety of media types, from the largest global social platforms to local broadcast media outlets.

MRI 4.0 has assessed each outlet across four priorities of partner accountability—Safety, Inclusivity, Sustainability and Data Ethics—in alignment with industry-adopted ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) frameworks so businesses can easily extend how they are measuring their impact in these spaces to include media. Previous versions of the MRI had ranked the platforms upon Mediabrands’ 10 Media Responsibility Principles, which are now consolidated within the four priorities.

The 150+ major partners that were surveyed expand into the realms of Broadcast & Cable, Connected TV, Online Video, and Display. Across Broadcast & Cable, the traditional-first networks also span several subsidiary companies across Connected TV and Online Video properties. The findings illuminated that strict, longstanding federal regulations within Broadcast & Cable have had a trickle-down effect on their digital properties, in effect enhancing safety standards when compared to digital-first counterparts surveyed.

Harris added, “We have always believed in the need to bring the lens of media responsibility to a broader set of media types. Consumers digest content and opinions from an ever-increasing list of mediums. It only made sense that this [rigour] we’ve developed for social platforms would be translated for a more diversified mix of media partners. With each iteration, the MRI is becoming more robust and establishing itself as a mainstay in driving industry accountability and powering responsible advertising investment.”

Some of the notable findings of the latest index include how social media platforms showed continued improvement across the four priorities (averaging +3-point in overall performance). It had also been found that Safety is a standout priority for broadcast & cable, based in part on federal industry regulations forcing uniformity and 3rd party enforcement in safety standards – including children’s safety rules and advertising approvals.

Tech-proficient digital-first CTV partners are also now driving higher Data Ethics performance than their traditional-first counterparts, in part due to their origins and operating in a more tech-oriented space, versus a TV-first space.

The index also found that in a mixed marketplace for Sustainability practices, online video platforms showed strength in their ad-business emissions measurement and in setting net-zero goals.

Marketing Featured APAC

Niranjan Singh appointed as Initiative’s new head of communications in APAC

Singapore – Initiative, the media agency under IPG Mediabrands, has appointed Niranjan Singh as its new head of communications in Asia-Pacific. In his new role, he will champion the application of best-practice approaches, techniques and solutions for modern experience design.

In addition, he will drive the connected communications design practice across key clients and sectors for Initiative APAC.

Singh will report to James Smyllie, president of Initiative APAC and is currently based in Mumbai, India prior to transitioning to the Initiative APAC regional headquarters in Singapore. His appointment is effective immediately. 

He has more than 16 years industry experience in strategic media planning and buying, and was previously the head of AOR at Mediacom Indonesia, leading the P&G business for three years.

Prior to that, he spent six years at GroupM, working across leading brands such as Colgate Palmolive, GSK and FrieslandCampina in India and Vietnam.

Speaking on his appointment, Singh said, “I’m thrilled to join Initiative APAC. Initiative’s unique proposition of achieving Cultural Velocity™ in the media-fragmented world to deliver real business growth and success for brands, was the big pull factor for me. I’m super excited to become a part of the team that has been winning Global businesses back-to-back.”

Meanwhile, Smyllie commented, “We are delighted to be attracting talent like Niran to Initiative. This hire reinforces our key focus on enhancing our Craft capabilities across APAC, and driving a consistently world class product throughout the region.”

The new Initiative appointment follows a slew of appointments made by agencies under the IPG Mediabrands company in APAC, namely the appointment of MBCS’ Olivia Warren to its Australia executive team, as well as of Sarah O’Leary and Tom Cumberworth for Initiative’s Rufus, the dedicated media and communications for Amazon.

Marketing Featured APAC

Reprise announces new regional executive leadership roles in APAC

Singapore – IPG Mediabrands’ global performance marketing agency Reprise has announced new regional executive roles in Asia-Pacific, namely Parul Gautam as head of analytics for APAC, Caitlin Draper-Wheeler as experience director for APAC, and Sid Mehta as head of performance for media in APAC.

Gautam and Draper-Wheeler’s appointments take effect immediately, while Mehta’s appointment takes effect on 1 August this year.

In her new role, Gautam will be responsible for collaborating with Mediabrands agency partners and local market leadership to set the standard for excellence, driving growth in analytics across the APAC region. He was previously the vice president for Interactive Avenues India, a Reprise network company, where she developed the analytics function to lead more than 35 Global and Indian clients.

Meanwhile, Draper-Wheeler will drive the strategic direction for SEO and CRO crafts in the region to develop compelling solutions which inspire existing and prospective clients and deliver transformative growth. She joins from Stanley St, where she served SEO and CRO director. She also brings in more than 8 years industry experience including management positions across iProspect, Digital Hothouse and PHD.

Lastly, Mehta joins from his former position as head of paid media at NP Digital. He brings in 10 years industry experience specialising in digital marketing, having spent around 7 years leading search social and digital at Resolution Digital.

All appointees will report to Pippa Berlocher, president at Reprise APAC.

She said, “I am delighted to see our vision and ambition for Reprise APAC being realised. [We] have continued growing that traction and momentum through the key craft areas of our business – testament to the appointment of these three new leadership roles.” 

Berlocher added, “We identified expert talent from both within our Mediabrands network family and the wider industry, equipped with the ability to anticipate the pace of change by harnessing the skills and structure required to propel our clients business forward.”

Marketing Featured ANZ

Lucy Formosa Morgan appointed as MD for MAGNA Australia

Sydney, Australia – IPG Mediabrands’ media intelligence and investment division MAGNA has appointed Lucy Formosa Morgan as its new managing director in Australia. The appointment took effect on 26 June, replacing previous managing director Nick Durrant.

Morgan brings more than 20 years’ international and local experience to Magna, previously holding senior management roles both agency and publisher-side, in Australia and the UK. 

Most recently, she was with NOVA Entertainment as commercial operations director. Prior to that, she was with PHD for more than decade where she joined as national managing director and chief investment officer, while also leading several of PHD’s specialist business units, driving growth year-on-year.

Speaking on her appointment, Morgan said, “MAGNA has clear opportunities to continue to evolve its investment product, taking full advantage of the ongoing dramatic shifts in consumer behaviour that we have seen over the past 2 years. I am delighted to join such a highly experienced and passionate team. Together we will continue to challenge how we execute our media with particular emphasis on digital, data and tech capabilities in the market so we can harness our creative thinking to accelerate returns for our clients.”

A passionate advocate for climate change and leading the charge for gender diversity across the Australian media industry, Morgan also mentors a number of senior women executives and is focused on increasing women in executive management roles.

Meanwhile, Mark Coad, CEO at Mediabrands Australia said he was delighted Lucy will be leading Magna’s Australian team as she is an inspiring leader with a track record of creating brilliant work that drives client success; and he was really looking forward to seeing her make an impact in the business.

“Lucy is a well experienced and highly capable executive. We have worked together in several roles over the years – so I know exactly what she will bring and the difference she will make. She is extremely highly regarded across the industry and by our media partners, and will bring all of that to bear as she takes on the leadership of Magna. She will also make a valued contribution to the overall Mediabrands business as she takes a place on our executive leadership team,” Coad said.

He added, “This role is not just about how we lead our Group’s negotiations and investment – but how we work with our media partners to execute the digital, data and tech capabilities in market…how we splice together our ability to build audiences with our media partners ability to deliver them and connect them to the brands we represent.”

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

AIA Malaysia’s CNY film reverberates the true meaning of ‘Wealthy Life’

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia — The Malaysian arm of insurance company AIA has launched a festive Chinese New Year (CNY) short film that centres on adventure and family and echoes AIA’s slogan of ‘Healthier, Longer, Better Lives’. The campaign was done in collaboration with Reprise Digital, a full-service integrated communications agency, and IPG Mediabrands network.

The film titled ‘Journey to the WoW’ sees a father narrating a bedtime story to his son on the eve of CNY. The tale centres around 3 travellers, each character representing a specific value that is integral to the World of Wealth – Ah Fook represents Plan Well; Ah Lok represents Protect Well, and Ah Sau signifies Live Well. The activity becomes a way for the father and son to bond and share valuable life lessons.

Amir Faiz, group creative director of Reprise, said that the film was inspired through the imagination of what living a ‘Healthier, Longer and Better Life’ means. He added that health in its simplest form is an abundance of anything we find valuable.

“Yes, this could mean money, but we wanted to show that more than anything else, wealth is a way of life. The modern way of life is sometimes misinterpreted as being hedonistic. By showing these ideas of wealth through classic folklore, it links to values most people hold dear to them that allow them to live their best life. We hope these insights from the World of Wealth bring about a ‘wow’ CNY for all Malaysians in the lunar new year ahead,” Faiz said.

World of Wealth, abbreviated WoW, is AIA Malaysia’s latest take on its ongoing communications to inspire and encourage people to live not just healthier and longer but to have a better life as well. The campaign also forms part of the insurer’s new Total Wealth Solution proposition which supports people to plan well, live well and protect well.

Heng Zee Wang, chief marketing officer of AIA Malaysia, commented, “One important message we wanted to bring forth to Malaysians this CNY is that being healthy physically, mentally and financially are all key to attaining true wealth. As the moral of the story goes, when you plan, live and protect well, you will be able to get the most out of life for yourself and your loved ones. The Reprise team have again been able to conceptualise these values of living a ‘Healthier, Longer, Better Life’, in an engaging and culturally relevant way, through the World of Wealth. Wealth at the end of the day is a journey, and we want you to live your WoW life with AIA by your side.”