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Technology Featured APAC

Criteo’s Retail Media APAC expansion marked with new MD appointment

Singapore – Global adtech Criteo has announced the expansion of its Retail Media offering across 6 markets in Asia-Pacific, which since its regional launch in Japan at the end of 2019, is now available in the markets of Korea, Australia, South-East Asia, Taiwan and India.

To mark this expansion, Criteo has also appointed Taro Fujinaka as the managing director for retail media for APAC at Criteo. In this role, Taro will work to drive the regional retail media ecosystem and deliver value to Criteo’s customers and partners as they continue to utilize Retail Media.

Said service enables retailers and marketplaces to generate new revenue from their brand partners. Brands can also reach shoppers at the digital point of sale and have complete visibility into the impact of media spend on product sales. This has proven instrumental in providing an optimal user experience, with shoppers able to receive relevant ads on the retailers’ own websites, while they shop conveniently online.

Taro brings with him over 16 years of experience in digital advertising, and adtech, including roles at Yahoo Japan and IPG Mediabrands Audience Platform where he was involved prior to joining Criteo. Most recently, Taro was managing director at Integral Ad Science where he spearheaded the direction of the company in Japan and Korea for over five years. Throughout his career, Taro has played a fundamental role in energizing the digital advertising industry in Japan and building high-performing teams to achieve market influence for brands.

Speaking about his appointment, Taro has shared his excitement about leading the retail media business in its next phase of growth, and expanding Criteo’s regional portfolio of customers for the technology. Since joining the team in March, Taro has worked with the team to drive awareness and adoption across the region and supercharge retailers’ efforts to leverage high-value media assets and first-party data on behalf of leading brands.

“As brands prepare for the post-cookie world, Retail Media will play a pivotal role in empowering brands who seek new addressable media opportunities in the evolving identity landscape. Combining a highly differentiated ad inventory with unique first-party data, we are confident that its availability and the strengthened capacity of our regional team will help with driving the industry forward in the years to come,” Taro stated.

Meanwhile, speaking about the service expansion in APAC, Geoffroy Martin, EVP and general manager for growth portfolio at Criteo, commented, “We were quick to expand our Retail Media offerings here in Asia, a key growth market for Criteo. In Q1 this year, our retail media business grew 122% year-over-year, and we are excited to see increasing demand for our technology, especially here in Asia. A key component of our commerce media strategy, Retail Media is also an addressable market expected to grow quickly.”

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Platforms Featured APAC

HBO Max names latest MD to take helm of SEA, India market

Singapore – As the company aims to expand its streaming services across new markets in Asia, subscription video on demand (VOD) streaming service HBO Max has announced the appointment of Amit Malhotra as HBO Max’s managing director for Southeast Asia and India.

He will immediately assume responsibility for the management of HBO GO, WarnerMedia’s existing OTT streaming service available in eight territories across Southeast Asia. In the future, he will spearhead the introduction of HBO Max in these territories and will lead WarnerMedia’s exploration of future opportunities to launch the streaming platform in additional markets, as well as a potential future launch in India.

Under Malhotra’s leadership, WarnerMedia expects to launch HBO Max in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and in Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam in the future, including an expanded content offering for the entire family and a premium new platform that would be hosted on HBO Max’s tech stack, providing a more stable and consistent streaming experience than HBO GO. 

Prior to his new role, Malhotra most recently served as regional lead for Disney+ in Southeast Asia, where he was responsible for overseeing the launch and operations of Disney’s streaming services in the region, including Disney+, Disney+ Hotstar and Hotstar. He also led the content sales and distribution division as part of The Walt Disney Company’s Direct-to Consumer & International (DTCI) business in South APAC and Middle East.

Speaking about his appointment, he said, “I am delighted to be part of the incredible team at WarnerMedia in Asia as we look at bringing HBO Max to this region. WarnerMedia’s brands including DC Universe, HBO and Cartoon Network are extremely popular with passionate fans and audiences across this region. With a focus on consumers our goal will be to bring all of these brands and content together in an exciting new world class streaming experience as we move into the future with HBO Max.”

He will report to Johannes Larcher, head of HBO Max International, who commented that with their upcoming launch across Latin America on 29 June and plans for Europe in the future, they turned their sights toward Asia, where they have an incredible opportunity to bring HBO Max to millions of new fans who are just as excited about streaming as their audiences in the United States.

“Amit’s experience launching streaming services in both mature and emerging markets across Southeast Asia and the surrounding region make him the ideal leader to plan and oversee the rollout of HBO Max and its expanded content offering and platform experience,” Larcher said.

The HBO Max team in Southeast Asia will build on the partnership with Clement Schwebig, managing director for India, Southeast Asia, and Korea at WarnerMedia, and members of his team including Magdalene Ew, head of content at HBO Asia; Yasmin Zahid, head of distribution at HBO Asia, as well as Leslie Lee, head of kids for APAC at HBO, in a collaboration that’s pivotal to the success of HBO GO and HBO Max in the region.

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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.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

dentsu malaysia bolsters media leadership team with three key senior hires

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Dentsu Malaysia has recently appointed three new leadership hires to strengthen its media service line executive committee.

The new hires are Asha Nair, the new managing director of media investment and platforms, Jing-Wen Foo, the new e-commerce director, and Hemanth Jayaraman, the new partner and agency brand lead of DentsuX.

The initiative is part of the evolution of dentsu’s recent rebranding and transformed organizational design, building a powerful end-to-end marketing and communications offering that connects consumer understanding, data, ecommerce, and technology with media, creative, and customer experience management.

Nair brings with her over 20 years of media solutions expertise in digital marketing and advertising. Prior to joining dentsu malaysia, she has previously worked as the managing director of media company Xaxis and marketing agency INCA, where she led the growth of AI-powered programmatic and content marketing solutions for GroupM Malaysia. 

Nair has also worked at various media agencies such as MediaCom Malaysia, where she was the head of interaction, and Starcom Malaysia, where she was the digital lead. She has also driven results for clients such as Mars Food, P&G, and Telekom Malaysia, as well as Volvo, and Nespresso, among others. 

In her new role, Nair will be responsible for managing client media investments, trading, and platform activation across offline and online channels for the entire media service line.

Meanwhile, Foo joins dentsu malaysia from Shopee and Shopback, where she consistently drove growth for more than ten consumer product verticals by using advanced technology to make online shopping experiences delightful, rewarding, and effortless. 

Prior to that, she has supported the global roll-out of BMW’s digital content model out of Munich headquarters and spearheaded BMW Malaysia’s digital marketing campaigns amongst younger consumer groups.

Foo will now be responsible for scaling and growing dentsu’s end-to-end ecommerce capabilities across marketplace and direct-to-consumer commerce.

And lastly, Jayaraman, who has previously worked as the senior brand manager at Hennessy VS and Hennessy VSOP, where he maintained market share leadership and share of voice for Moët Hennessy Diageo Malaysia’s core brand portfolio. 

Before joining Hennessy, Jayaraman worked at food and beverage company PepsiCo Malaysia, where he drove volume and share growth for Lipton Iced Tea and oversaw the brand growth strategy for Tropicana juice brands for eight APAC markets. He has also founded and sold his own events and activation agency, Switch Strategies, which managed top brands such as Audi, Lamborghini, and UOB, as well as Hong Leong, and Johnnie Walker Malaysia.

Jayaraman will now be leading Dentsu X, which helps brands create integrated and personalised marketing solutions to deliver ‘Experience Beyond Exposure’.

Dentsu Media Malaysia’s CEO Dheeraj Raina shared that they are building a technical and data-driven marketing spine that goes end-to-end in our business that will chart new frontiers in our industry. 

“I am excited that Asha, Jing-Wen, and Hemanth will join me in unpacking all our dynamic, data-driven tech-enabled media capabilities towards meaningful progress for clients,” said Raina.

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Marketing Featured ANZ

Digitas Australia welcomes Rebecca Zemunik as new managing director

Sydney, Australia – Connected marketing agency Digitas in Australia has recently appointed Rebecca Zemunik, former senior director of business development and alliances at digital business transformation firm Publicis Sapient, to be its new managing director.

Digitas is a connected marketing agency by advertising and public relations company Publicis Groupe that offers creative, data, media, and strategy, as well as technology experts. It aims to help brands better connect with people.

Zemunik brings with her more than 20 years of experience, spanning tech, consulting, and telco. Besides her previous role in Publicis Sapient, she has also worked as the lead of the financial services at digital customer experience firm Accenture Interactive, the director of customs solutions at software company Responsys, and the senior account director at creative communications agency Sputnik.

The new role, which will be effective July, will see Zemunik leveraging her expertise in business development, alliance management, and client relationship management, as well as people management, and digital transformation, to continue to drive the growth of the agency.

Commenting on her new role, Zemunik said, “I’m thrilled to be joining a world-class agency with Digitas Australia. I know first-hand the caliber of people and the exceptional work they continually produce. I look forward to working with the team and our clients in the future.”

Meanwhile, Digitas ANZ’s CEO Adrian Farouk shared that Zemunik is an intuitive operator who understands the importance of connecting clients with the right talent and supporting teams to deliver outstanding business results. 

“She joins at a crucial time for our agency. We are humbled to have someone with Bec’s talent come on board to chart the next evolution of our growth,” said Farouk.

Michael Rebelo, the CEO of Publicis Groupe ANZ, also commented, “Bec is a highly-skilled digital business leader with a proven track record in our Groupe. Her move from Publicis Sapient to Digitas is a testament to our ability to provide progressive career pathways for our talent. I have no doubt she will continue to excel in her new role within the Publicis Groupe family.”

Zemunik’s appointment comes after the decision of the existing Digitas Australia Managing Director Ian Gough to move back to the United Kingdom with his family.

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Technology Featured South Asia

Essence elevates Sonali Malaviya as managing director of India unit

Delhi, India – Global data and measurement-driven media agency Essence in India has appointed Sonali Malaviya, former senior vice president of client services for Essence’s Google business in INSEA, to be its new managing director for the India team.

Malaviya brings with her 20 years of industry experience. Prior to joining Essence in 2018, she has previously worked as the chief operating officer at beauty company Colorbar Cosmetics and the country marketing lead at Twitter India. 

In addition, Malaviya has also held senior roles at various companies such as media companies Mindshare and PHD, market research firm Roy Morgan Research, and marketing agency MediaCom in India, the United Arab Emirates, and Australia.

In her new role, Malaviya will be responsible for leading Essence’s continued client-centric innovation in data, analytics, and technology, as well as business growth, and company culture for the agency in the market. She will be joining the agency’s APAC leadership team and GroupM India’s executive committee and will be reporting directly to Essence APAC’s CEO T. Gangadhar and GroupM South Asia’s CEO Prasanth Kumar

Commenting on her appointment, Malaviya said that she is truly honored to have the opportunity to lead Essence in India, as over the past three years, she has witnessed the growth of the agency, clients, and employees.

“I am looking forward to partnering with our highly talented teams and leveraging our industry-leading capabilities to help even more brands in India achieve data-driven growth and transformation, as well as valuable connections with consumers,” added Malaviya.

Meanwhile, Gangadhar said, “India continues to be a priority for Essence in APAC and globally, and with Sonali at the helm, I am very excited about our next phase of growth and development in the market.”

Kumar also commented that with Malaviya’s background and significant achievements, she will add to the capabilities of the agency and work with the teams to improve the client experience.

“As we continue to develop leaders internally, Sonali is also part of our growing pool of talent taking on various leadership roles across GroupM India. I look forward to working with Sonali and leveraging her expertise,” said Kumar.

Just recently, Essence has also announced the launch of its new pro bono initiative ‘Essence Impact’, which aims to aid non-profit organizations in their digital transformation.

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Technology Featured Southeast Asia

Aravind Menon takes helm of Xaxis, INCA MY as MD

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Both the Malaysian arm of GroupM’s outcome media specialist Xaxis and its influencer marketing solution INCA are now under the same managing director, Aravind Menon, where he will lead Xaxis‘ and INCA Malaysia’s strategy and operations.

Menon will be responsible as well in spearheading future digital development as well as client transformational initiatives and mentoring new talent. In addition, he will leverage his experience at GroupM to further advance Xaxis’ innovative programmatic solutions, including digital out-of-home (DOOH) advertising and proprietary Artificial Intelligence technology.

He has previously held the position of head of supply and product development in GroupM’s Trading Team, where he led the group’s digital investment strategy across key partners and created high value supply and trading strategies for clients. He also became the secretary of the Malaysian Digital Association, a council representing Malaysian corporations including digital publishers, platforms, advertising agencies, creative agencies, and digital service providers, back in 2020.

Reflecting on his appointment, Aravind said, “I am excited to grow Xaxis and INCA’s business in Malaysia. The agencies have been producing some of the most exciting programmatic and influencer marketing solutions for years now and there is clearly phenomenal room for growth in the Malaysian market. I look forward to building and scaling the agencies to even greater heights and delivering exception value for our clients.”

He will be reporting into both Arshan Saha, CEO at Xaxis Asia-Pacific, as well as Chanchal Chakrabarty, CEO at GroupM Malaysia.

Saha commented that Menon has a track record of fostering, collaborating, and championing their integrated approach in transforming digital media into business outcomes, which is a timely opportunity for the companies he will be directing, as the industry has seen unprecedented change since last year.

“His deep expertise combined with our cutting-edge AI in programmatic and creativity will bring incredible value to our operations in Malaysia. I am thrilled to welcome him into his new role in leading Xaxis and INCA for Malaysia,” Saha stated.

Meanwhile, Chakrabarty commented, “Xaxis represents the silver bullet in AI and programmatic, and the Malaysian market is ripe with opportunity to target audiences digitally. I have great confidence that Aravind’s leadership will further elevate our team towards our global goal of making advertising work better for people. His experience in developing and delivering innovative and scalable media partnerships will help us spearhead the advertising revolution and contribute to the overall growth and success of GroupM Malaysia.”

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Universal Music MY sees new managing director take charge

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – The Malaysian arm of Universal Music, a division of Universal Music Group, has appointed Kim Lim as its newest managing director to help accelerate domestic artist development and label growth in the country.

The appointment comes as part of a series of strategic hires to further expand and bolster the senior management team as part of the company’s effort to accelerate domestic artist development and label growth within the region.

Through the appointment, Lim will oversee UMG’s operations throughout Malaysia. Based at UMM’s headquarters in Petaling Jaya, Selangor, she will report to Calvin Wong, CEO at Universal Music Southeast Asia and senior vice president for Asia.

Prior to her new position, Lim has held a variety of senior roles within the company, most recently serving as senior director of new business and artist management, as well as head of marketing and sales for Malaysia for Universal Music Malaysia.

She also spearheaded the launch of Celebrity 360, an industry-leading full-service management company which manages the careers of some of Malaysia’s most popular and influential talents from the worlds of music, film/TV, entertainment and lifestyle including Anis Nabilah and Alvin Chong.

Speaking regarding her appointment, she stated, “I am excited to lead the amazing team here in Malaysia, as we look at new ways to expand the horizons and think expansively about what is possible for a music company to achieve. We will continue to focus on domestic A&R, discovering and developing the best talent our country and region have to offer. 

She added, “We will innovate and carve new paths to ensure that Malaysia’s vibrant music culture is more accessible to partners, platforms and most importantly music fans throughout the region than ever before.”

Joining her as well in the recent slew of promotions are Hermond Cheng, director of A&R and marketing and head of Def Jam Malaysia; Ivan Koh as director of commercial and digital strategy; and Patrina Wong as finance and operations director.

Meanwhile, Calvin Wong, CEO at Universal Music Southeast Asia and senior vice president for Asia, commented, “I am thrilled that Kim’s ability, business innovation and strategic leadership have enabled her to rise from within UMM to the top job in Malaysia. Having been a passionate and successful marketing executive on the label side, she has achieved amazing results in transforming our non-recorded Income, whilst spearheading the innovative and successful launch of Celebrity 360 in Malaysia.”

He added, “I’m confident that with the team of Kim, Hermond, Ivan and Patrina in place, UMM will continue to expand the opportunities for Malaysian music talent around the world, whilst achieving new levels of success domestically.”

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Marketing Featured ANZ

Wunderman Thompson’s Nick Muncaster promoted to managing director of Melbourne team

Australia – Creative and CRM agency Wunderman Thompson in Australia has announced the elevation of Melbourne team’s General Manager Nick Muncaster, to now assume the role of managing director for the unit.

Prior to joining Wunderman Thompson in 2019, Muncaster has held multiple leadership roles at several advertising agencies, including Ogilvy and Havas Creative in Sydney and Melbourne. He has also worked with brands within retail, telco, finance, and automotive, as well as extensive partnerships with the State and Federal Government, among others.

In his new role, Muncaster will be leading the brand’s vision for the Melbourne office, continuing to build a high-performing culture for talent and drive strategic growth for clients.

Commenting on his appointment, Muncaster said that he is excited by the opportunity and humbled by the support from the agency’s talented team and ambitious clients. 

“I’m looking forward to my next chapter within this dynamic industry and business. I am proud of our continued momentum at Wunderman Thompson and look forward to continuing to inspire growth across our client’s business in 2021,” said Muncaster.

Meanwhile, CEO of Wunderman Thompson ANZ, Lee Leggett, commented that they have met many talented and ambitious people in their ‘extensive search’ for a new managing director, and that the final decision to appoint internally is a testament to Nick’s strong leadership of its Melbourne team and clients for the past six years.

“For anyone who has worked alongside Nick, you will know for yourself how talented he is. Our Melbourne office is in great hands,” said Leggett.

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Marketing Featured ANZ

Zenith Australia promotes Jonny Cordony as Sydney office’s managing director

Sydney, Australia – Publicis Media’s ROI agency Zenith in Australia has promoted Jonny Cordony, former general manager, to the new role of managing director at Zenith Sydney. 

The appointment will see Cordony leading the brand’s vision for the Sydney office, developing high-performing teams, and driving strategic partnerships and growth outcomes for clients.

Prior to his new role, Cordony has previously worked as the national communications planning director for Zenith, and thereafter, became the Sydney general manager of the agency for almost three years. Before joining Zenith, Cordony has held group business director roles at various agencies, including media agency Bohemia Group and dentsu in Hong Kong.

Commenting on his promotion, Cordony said, “I am truly humbled by the opportunity to continue my progression in such a dynamic industry and business. From starting out as an account coordinator all those years ago to taking on such a hugely fulfilling, challenging and exciting role, I’d like to thank our amazing talent, clients, and strategic partners for all their support and trust. I am proud of our continued momentum at Zenith and I look forward to continually challenging ourselves as a business in 2021.”

Meanwhile, Nickie Scriven, the CEO of Zenith Australia, shared, “I am so thrilled to announce Jonny’s promotion to the newly-created role of Managing Director, Sydney. The expansion of his remit is a testament to his strong leadership of our Sydney office, people, clients, and new business pitches. Jonny is a key member of Zenith’s Executive Leadership Team in Australia and I look forward to his ongoing contributions to the agency in this next stage of his career.”