Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Audrey Chong is set to leave her position as chief executive officer of UM Malaysia, and from Mediabrands in all. According to IPG Mediabrands, Chong aims to pursue opportunities outside the group.

The agency also noted that interim management of UM Malaysia will now fall in the hands of CEO of Mediabrands Bala Pomaleh and managing director of UM Rina Low who will lead the team and ensure seamless operations, closely supported by Bala.

Pomaleh said, “We would like to thank Audrey for being a key member of the Mediabrands family for over five years and wish her much success with what’s next. The process of hiring a new CEO is already underway, and it is important we find the right fit for the job in terms of leadership and innovation. We have some very exciting candidates in the pipeline which will be announced in due course.”

Chong served as UM Malaysia’s CEO from February 2021, and was also previously the chief investment officer of IPG Mediabrands from 2018 to 2021. Prior to that, she was the head of marketing communications at Digi Telecommunications and the senior group account director at M&C Saatchi Malaysia.

Sydney, Australia Global content studio Mediabrands Content Studio (MBCS) has announced the appointment of Marshall Campbell as general manager of client service and Luke Simkins as group creative director. The new leadership is part of the agency’s efforts to strengthen the creative department.

For their new role, Campbell will focus on senior strategic advice and client service leadership whilst Simkins will be responsible for creative direction and leadership across the agency’s creative team. Both will report directly to Olivia Warren, managing director at MBCS.

Campbell brings with him a strong background in digital, video production, and business development. In his last stint, he was client director at global creative platform Genero. He also held senior roles at creative agencies Emotive and Clemenger BBDO, advertising agency TBWA\, and creative company DARE Digital in UK.

Meanwhile, Simkins brings with him experience in creative problem solving working across diverse business verticals. Some of his previous stints include the role of creative director at M&C Saatchi in Sydney and becoming part of the creative team at agency VMLY&R.

Warren said that Campbell and Simpkins are exactly what they look for in creative leaders due to their ability to make great work and achieve successful outcomes for clients.

Campbell commented, “Today’s consumer has the power to choose what they consume, so by utilising the networks media insights we’re able to enhance our creative output guaranteeing our work will reach the right audience at the right time with the right message.”

On the other hand, Simkins said that he’s honoured to lead MBCS’ creative offering at such an exciting phase of the agency’s evolution.

“By putting media insight and people at the centre of everything we do, we will drive even greater relevance for our clients,” he added.

Last year, Mediabrands Australia has also announced the appointment of Olivia Warren as managing director of MBCS.

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.”

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.”

Sydney, Australia – Mediabrands Australia has announced the appointment of Olivia Warren, managing director of Mediabrands Content Studio (MBCS) to Mediabrands’ Executive Leadership Team (ELT) in Australia.

Mark Coad, CEO of Mediabrands, said he was delighted to welcome Olivia to the ELT and was confident her appointment would add immediate benefits to the business and its clients.

“Since MBCS launched in Australia earlier this year Olivia has led the business to become a true powerhouse brand, better connecting our creative, content and experience capabilities and helping move our clients towards continued growth and success,” said Coad. 

“She is a visionary leader initially as the driving force behind Initiative Studio’s incredible success and more recently her success at the helm of MBCS. Her passion, energy and business acumen earn her the respect and love of her team and clients alike. Her appointment to the ELT is well deserved and on behalf of all my colleagues I welcome her to the team,” he added. 

On her appointment, Warren commented, “I am excited about the opportunity to represent Mediabrands and bring MBCS’ perspective and capabilities to the leadership team. 

“Since we launched MBCS in Australia earlier this year we have been able to offer Mediabrands’ clients greater market insights, and enhanced support for local, regional and global campaigns. It has been a pleasure to work alongside MBCS’ sister brands – including UM, Initiative and Reprise – to achieve this and I am now looking forward to working with the brand leaders as MBCS’ representative,” she added.

Mediabrands’ ELT in Australia comprises a cross-brand representation of business leaders within the company. Warren’s appointment consolidates representation of all brand capabilities across the group as she joins Mark Coad, CEO of Mediabrands; Anathea Ruys, CEO of UM; Melissa Fein, CEO of Initiative; Kim Lion, chief culture and communications officer of Mediabrands; Alexia Bryant, chief talent officer of Mediabrands; Lucy Formosa Morgan, MD of Magna; John Clements, chief financial officer of Mediabrands; Jackie Edwards, MD of Orion; and Andrew Holford, Acting CEO of Reprise.

Warren’s appointment is effective immediately.

Hong Kong – Mediabrands, the media and marketing solutions division of Interpublic Group, has unveiled three executive leadership promotions, which are in line with the agency’s growth plans for the Greater China network.

The appointees include Joanne Tong, the new managing director for Hong Kong, Penny Chow, the new managing director for Taiwan, and Man Leung, the new head of Reprise and Initiative for Hong Kong.

Promoted from her prior position as head of strategy at Mediabrands Hong Kong and Taiwan, Tong will be charged with the growth leadership of the Mediabrands Hong Kong agency network, drawing upon her 20 years of specialised marketing and advertising industry experience across renowned 4A’s agencies and corporate behemoths.

Meanwhile, adding to her previous remit leading Mediabrands Content Studio (MBCS) for Hong Kong and Taiwan, Chow will be extending her role to include managing director of the Mediabrands agency network in Taiwan. His 20-year career in media and advertising has encompassed celebrated collaborations with numerous brand giants including Disney and Coca-Cola.

And lastly, from his prior role as head of business development for Hong Kong and Taiwan, Leung has been promoted to a broader leadership role as head of Reprise and Initiative at Hong Kong, where he will utilise his over 19 years of industry experience specialising in building the digital infrastructure for data-driven marketing solutions, to drive the transformational, digital, and performance media growth across the Reprise and Initiative agencies in the Hong Kong market.

Melinda Po, CEO of Mediabrands for Greater China, shared that this newly embedded local market leadership is a testament to the growth and diversification of their agency network offering across the greater China region. 

“It has been extremely gratifying to find exactly the right leadership talent we needed to drive this growth from within our own agency network, not only providing the development opportunity for our own people to grow and assume broader leadership responsibilities but also utilising their deep expertise and understanding of our product offering, our culture, in addition to the local market growth opportunities,” added Po.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – IPG Mediabrands today announced that it is expanding its creative content capabilities with the launch of Mediabrands Content Studio (MBCS) in Malaysia. The media-born and audience-informed agency will support Mediabrands agencies including UM, Initiative, and Reprise. In addition, the company will offer a holistic suite of services and develop cutting-edge tools to enhance and bolster Mediabrands’ content and production offerings.

MBCS is a media-fueled content practice designed to network and grow Mediabrands’ content and creative capabilities across the world. MBCS Malaysia will focus on the development of short- and long-form original, branded, performance and campaign content. Furthermore, MBCS will provide a suite of entertainment solutions including the development of media, talent, influencer strategies, and production partnerships designed to grow clients’ brands.

Mediabrands has appointed Stanley Clement as CEO of MBCS to lead the said creative efforts across Malaysia, reporting to Bala Pomaleh, CEO of Mediabrands Malaysia. Clement was formerly MD of Reprise Digital overseeing the creative and content business.

“This launch of MBCS in Malaysia reinforces our commitment to continuous evolution in our offerings, by integrating new and innovative content models more tightly into client solutions. By bringing together the best of Mediabrands creativity through the power of our data and media expertise, we will be able to create content experiences that build our brands in more exciting ways than ever before,” said Pomaleh.

Over the past seven years, Mediabrands Malaysia has built a strong presence in the content space. Reprise Creative, SpringCreek and Initiative Studio Malaysia will integrate as one entity under the MBCS banner which will act as the parent creative network, with Ensemble Worldwide remaining as a standalone brand.

Clement will be supported by Phang Mei Jeng as MD of MBCS and Didi Pirinyuang as ECD of MBCS, while they continue leading the Ensemble Worldwide. 

MBCS’s launch in Malaysia is part of MBCS’s larger international growth strategy, which plans to expand the global agency from 12 to 20 territories by the end of 2022. 

“Malaysia has always been very strong creatively, so formalizing their content offerings by way of launching MBCS in the market was a natural next step for us. We’re excited to see the work Malaysia will produce with the added support of MBCS’s global network,” said Alfonso Marian, MBCS’s global chief creative officer and Global CEO.

Marian was inaugurated into the position only in February of this year. Meanwhile, in Greater China Region, Melinda Po was recently appointed as CEO of Mediabrands. 

MBCS was launched by Mediabrands in November 2020.

Manila, Philippines – Global cola brand RC Cola has partnered with Mediabrands Content Studio Australia and Mediabrands Philippines, alongside creative and media companies The Glue Society and Ravenous Mantis, to launch a new fun and relevant campaign.

The campaign, which is fronted by a meme-ably manic rabbit, sets out to challenge teens across the world to stop asking ‘why’, and start asking ‘why not?’. It aims to take audiences on a wild reimagining of four of the greatest moments in human history, namely the discovery of fire, the creation of the Pyramids, the invention of the Internet, and the holy union of socks and sandals. The story twists history to suggest that RC Cola mixed with a ‘why not’ attitude was foundational to each pivotal, history-altering moment.

Paul Bruty, director at The Glue Society, said, “A naughty animatronic rabbit travelling through time seemed like the perfect thing to do for this project. It’s the kind of personality you could write a hundred different scripts for.”

Meanwhile, Olivia Warren, managing director at Mediabrands Content Studio, said that they love working on campaigns that stand out from the rest – fun, creative, bespoke, and bold – and RC Cola’s campaign is all of these and more.

“Deliberately different is what we all do best and our team aspires to always have a ‘why not’ attitude as this ensures we go the extra mile for our clients. It’s fabulous to be part of a true collaboration with a client and a raft of like-minded agencies who follow the same rules,” added Warren.

Tricia Camarillo-Quiambao, CEO of Mediabrands Philippines, also said, “This new global platform is testament to how work can be made post-pandemic, a border-breaking collaboration to create a fresh new ad, for an audience not defined by where they live but a common set of values. Our partnership with Mediabrands Content Studio and the Glue Society was seamless and fun.”

Francis Lamprea, RC Cola International’s managing director, commented, “We believe in the strength of the strategy behind the campaign. Lithuania is the first to embark on the ‘Why Not’ journey globally. We look forward to the Lithuanian youth embracing the RC Cola energy and positive attitude of both characters in the story.”

Sri Lanka – Despite the turmoil brought by the new COVID-19 Omicron variant as well as the economic issues the country is facing, Sri Lanka’s advertising scene is set to grow by 16% by 2023, which will be dominated by digital formats. This is according to the latest data from Mediabrands’ MAGNA.

According to the insights, Sri Lanka’s advertising market grew by over 10% in 2021. However, it is feared that this growth forecast might change in the near future amidst economic instability in the country, as well as facing a consumer price inflation crisis.

In other mediums, linear formats will also see some growth this year, though on a smaller scale. Meanwhile, television (+3%) and radio (+5%), and OOH (+13%) will see the strongest growth while print will decline slightly (-5%). 

“2023 will bring continued recovery for most linear ad formats, with the exception of print, but over the long term, we anticipate digital will continue to gain market share at the expense of linear media channels,” the report said in a statement.

As evident across APAC, digital is the backbone of growth, with all digital formats expected to see another year of double-digit growth: video by over 52%, social by over 25%, search by over 21%, and display by over 18%. In total, digital advertising revenues will reach US$131m, or a 37% market share regionally.

Vietnam – In Vietnam, linear advertising still accounts for 62% of the country’s advertising budgets, according to data from Mediabrands’ MAGNA.

According to the report, this year’s advertising revenues in Vietnam are increasing by 5% higher than anticipated due to the pre-COVID situation, which has caused pullbacks in advertising activity since 2021.

Meanwhile, TV advertising revenues are still a huge portion of overall ad budgets in Vietnam. Even though television ad spending is decreasing by -4% it still represents 58% of the total budget.

In other mediums, print ad sales continued to decline this year by -3%, and will continue by -4% in 2023, representing just 5% of total advertiser budgets. Furthermore, spending on print will represent just 70% of the pre-COVID total in 2019 by the end of this year 2022.

Lastly, as the economy recovers from the COVID outbreak in 2021, out-of-home (OOH) expenditure is expected to increase by 20% this year.

For digital advertising, the revenue is increasing by +22% and represents 38% of total advertiser budgets. Digital spending is led by social media advertising, which will increase by +36% and represent 48% of total digital advertising budgets. By format, mobile +30%, video +15%, and search +13% are leading growth.

According to the estimate, Vietnam’s advertising revenue will bring the market to VND 32.8 trillion ($1.5 billion). On a real GDP basis, Vietnam’s economy is expected to grow by 6.0%. Worldwide, media owners’ ad income will rise by over 9.2% this year, reaching around US$828 billion, or approximately 32% above the pre-COVID level of 2019. In addition, advertising revenues in the Asia-Pacific region are expected to rise by more than 7% to US$273 billion, or 35% higher than they were before COVID, thanks to an increase of over 12% in digital advertising.