Marketing Featured ANZ

TBWA\Sydney unveils new leadership promotions

Australia – Advertising agency TBWA\Sydney has announced two new leadership promotions, namely Nitsa Lotus, former managing director, to step into the newly created role of chief growth officer, and Tanya Vragalis, former general manager, to assume the role of managing director

Lotus has recently celebrated 15 years at the agency. Prior to joining TBWA\Sydney, she previously held roles at various creative agencies such as Whybin TBWA, Saatchi & Saatchi, and Lowe Lintas.

In her new role, Lotus will be leading growth initiatives and innovation across each of the agencies within the TBWA\Sydney Group – TBWA, Eleven, Fleishman Hillard, Fabric, and Bolt – as well as continuing to lead significant client relationships.

Meanwhile, Vragalis has been with the agency for four years. Prior to joining TBWA\Sydney, she previously worked as the group head at M&C Saatchi Australia, the group business director at Leo Burnett, and the senior communications manager at George Patterson Y&R.

As the new managing director, Vragalis will be overseeing significant clients Optus and Carlton United Breweries.

Commenting on her elevation, Lotus said, “It’s been a privilege to be part of this agency’s story for the last 15 years. I’m excited about the next chapter and am looking forward to helping drive growth and innovation across the group.”

Vragalis also commented that she feels incredibly honored to take this next step and lead a team of passionate and creative collaborators at TBWA\Sydney. 

“I look forward to continuing to inspire our people and partnering with our clients to disrupt this ‘new normal’ with different, elevated creative ideas,” she added.

Paul Bradbury, the CEO of TBWA\Australia and New Zealand CEO, noted that growth and momentum provide exciting new opportunities for the people. 

“Nitsa and Tanya thoroughly deserve these promotions. I would also like to congratulate Nitsa on her tenure at TBWA, quite an achievement in an industry of so much change,” said Bradbury.

Marketing Featured East Asia

Essence elevates Kota Murakami to MD role for Japan

Tokyo, Japan – Global data and measurement-driven media agency Essence has elevated current associate vice president for client services for Japan Kota Murakami to the role of managing director for Essence in Japan.

He will be responsible for leading continued client-centric innovation in data, analytics and technology, as well as business growth and company culture for Essence in the market.

In his previous role as AVP for client services, he headed the agency’s client services and drove business growth for the agency in Japan, as well as overseeing key client services in Korea. Previously, he served as global account director at Tag in the United States, streamlining creative production processes for major brands and agencies through software as a service.

He will be reporting to T. Gangadhar, CEO for APAC at Essence as part of the agency’s APAC leadership team; and Michael Beecroft, CEO for Northeast Asia at GroupM as part of GroupM Japan’s executive committee.

“Kota has done an excellent job in spearheading, in collaboration with the leadership team, Essence’s growth and development in Japan over the past few years. In addition to global and local industry experience, he has a deep understanding of our business, product offering, clients, work, people and culture. I am excited about his vision for Essence in Japan and how he will take the agency to new heights,” Gangadhar said.

Meanwhile, Beecroft commented, “Kota’s contribution to Essence’s growth has been clear. With his appointment to GroupM Japan’s executive committee earlier this year, and now as the confirmed leader of Essence Japan, his impact on the Essence and overall GroupM business will only increase.”

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Media Prima welcomes Rafiq Razali as new managing director

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Media Prima, the media and entertainment company in Malaysia, has recently announced the appointment of Rafiq Razali as its new managing director.

Razali brings with him his comprehensive experience in business development and strategic planning. His track record includes establishing and scaling start-up companies related to digital and information technology. 

The new managing director first joined Media Prima as the chief executive officer of REV Media Group on 15 April 2016 and was subsequently appointed as group executive director on 18 February 2021. 

Prior to joining Media Prima, Razali has previously worked with Maxis Berhad, where he held various positions that included responsibilities in the International Business Division and the Corporate Strategy divisions.

Datuk Seri Syed Hussian Aljunid, the group chairman of Media Prima, said Razali has been pivotal in driving the group’s positive results in recent months, and his many contributions to the group include establishing Media Prima as the local industry leader in the digital realm. 

“He has a strong understanding of the group’s business operations and when combined with his prior experience leading successful digital start-ups and commerce companies, we are confident that Rafiq is the ideal choice to lead Media Prima to new levels of success,” said Aljunid.

Technology Featured APAC

Xandr boosts APAC presence with new MD appointments

Singapore – Xandr, the advertising and analytics division of global telco AT&T, is continuously investing in more talents across their Asia-Pacific (APAC) market by the recent appointments of Masatsune Shironishi as managing director for Japan, and Nicole Prior as managing director for Australia and New Zealand.

Shironishi’s appointment takes effect immediately, while Prior’s appointment will take effect by 1 November this year.

In their new roles, Shironishi will be responsible for building on the early successes of the business, localizing go-to-market efforts and ensuring Xandr is well placed to grow in digital video and connected TV. Meanwhile, Prior’s remit will include overseeing the Australian business operations and continuing the momentum that the team has established in building a premium Australian video marketplace.

Prior to their new roles, Shironishi joined from Amobee Japan where he was country manager and brings deep industry experience and expertise across media agencies, TV, digital media and advertising technology. He has also worked at OpenTable, Elsevier and Microsoft in various senior sales and product roles.

Meanwhile, Prior was formerly the chief media partnerships Officer at IPG Mediabrands’ UM and brings extensive agency and broadcaster experience with executive roles held at MediaCom, Finecast, Ikon Communications, Network 10 and Seven Network.

Both new hires will be reporting to Jerome Underhill, head of global regions at Xandr.

“Xandr has experienced strong growth across APAC as advertiser demand grows for premium, brand and privacy safe environments and publishers and broadcasters seek to meet that demand through partnerships with Xandr. These senior leadership appointments are reflective of the broader investments we are making throughout APAC to allow us to best serve our expanding set of customers,” Underhill said.

The company is also continuing to build its APAC leadership team including a general manager to lead Southeast Asia and India. Xandr has already expanded the leadership team, with Tom Dover having relocated from Sydney to Singapore as director, video marketplace development for APAC. Tom will be responsible for accelerating Xandr’s video-first product adoption delivering creative and differentiated solutions to the region’s largest agencies and advertisers.

Marketing Featured ANZ

Brand experience Akcelo appoints new managing partner amid Melbourne expansion

Melbourne, Australia – Following local and national demand for their services, brand experience company Akcelo has appointed former managing partner at agency VMLY&R Melbourne Jon Kenyon as the company’s managing director for Melbourne, following the company’s extension to the city.

Akcelo, which was founded by former VMLY&R ANZ CEO Aden Hepburn, has won multiple clients and made a string of hires with further appointments and announcements to be made over the coming months as it continues to build out its full-service offering in Melbourne.

Kenyon joins Akcelo from VMLY&R Melbourne where he was managing partner at the WPP-owned business, driving the resurgence of one of the most famous advertising agencies in Australia with award winning work and exponential growth.

“Akcelo is delivering transformative brand experiences across the entire customer journey that is truly market-leading. I am super thrilled to be leading this office and join a rapidly growing and talented team of more than 80 ‘Akcelerators’ as we continue to push the boundaries for our partners,” Kenyon said, regarding his appointment.

Meanwhile, Hepburn commented that expanding the company nationally has always been in the company plan and they are thrilled to offer further borderless capability to their client partners as they grow.

“Jon brings strong leadership and inspirational business thinking to Akcelo and builds deep, effective relationships with clients and has an eye for brilliant work. With so many leading Australian businesses in Melbourne looking to deliver more holistic brand experiences for their customers, we’re excited Jon is taking the reins to spearhead our offering as we continue to build a world-class team focused on creating work that really shifts the needle,” he stated.

Technology Featured APAC

Adtech TripleLift sets afoot on APAC market, appoints new MD

Singapore – Global adtech TripleLift announces that it will be expanding its global presence into the Asia-Pacific market, as well as announcing Singapore-based Henry Shelley to be appointed as TripleLift’s new managing director.

Part of the expanded regional market presence is due to the fact the company has seen a growth of APAC publisher partnerships in the last two years by over 250%. 

TripleLift’s multiple ad formats have become an integral part of the programmatic revenue strategies for most of those publishers. Since launching the industry’s first native ad exchange in 2014, TripleLift has expanded its marketplace and offerings to include display and video.

Meanwhile, Shelley brings extensive experience accelerating client business and expanding company operations across regions, including London, Australia, and Singapore. He most recently served as general manager for The Trade Desk, leading its expansion across Southeast Asia. Prior to that, he was global account lead for Amnet Programmatic Experts of the Dentsu Aegis Network and held positions at marketing agencies Columbus Agency and Latitude.

For Shelley, programmatic native advertising is, more than ever, now an essential and permanent fixture on media plans across the APAC region. He added that great-looking ad formats enrich people’s experience with brands, which then gives advertisers, publishers, and broadcasters performance that scales.

“TripleLift quickly established itself as a trusted partner in Australia, and with the company’s acquisition – one of the largest transactions in ad tech history – expansion in key markets across APAC is accelerating. I am beyond thrilled to lead TripleLift’s next phase of growth in APAC, helping shape the future of digital advertising and making advertising work better for everyone in the region,” he stated.

TripleLift first launched its native programmatic product seven years ago to help publishers compete with large media platforms that were grabbing an increasingly disproportionate slice of ad budgets and squeezing publishers across the open web in the process. Since then, the company expanded its product portfolio to support every major programmatically transactable ad format from display to connected TV (CTV).

Meanwhile, Jacqueline Quantrell, chief revenue officer at TripleLift, stated that as the region is home to several of the worlds’ largest and fastest-growing digital ad markets, APAC presents publishers and advertisers with an enormous opportunity to harness the power of programmatic to achieve business objectives.

“With our established suite of ad formats, increased investment in new technologies, and Henry at the helm of our business in APAC, we’re poised to help more publishers grow their share of budget and help advertisers reach their target audiences,” Quantrell concluded.

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.”

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.

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.

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.