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Marketing Featured ANZ

Mediabrands appoints MBCS Managing Director Olivia Warren to exec leadership team

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.

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Marketing Featured East Asia

Mediabrands elevates senior leaders for Hong Kong, Taiwan

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.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Mediabrands launches creative content practice, MBCS, in Malaysia

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.

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Marketing Featured Global

RC Cola’s latest campaign challenges teens to have ‘why not’ attitude

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.”

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Marketing Featured South Asia

Sri Lanka’s ad growth by 2023 to be driven by digital formats

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.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Linear advertising takes lion’s share of ad spend in Vietnam

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.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Linear advertising represent majority of ad spend in Thailand: report

Bangkok, Thailand – Linear advertising remains the majority of advertising spending in Thailand, accounting for 72% of total advertising budgets for the local market, according to data from Mediabrands’ MAGNA.

According to the report, linear advertising revenues in Thailand are growing by over 3% and represent just 81% of their pre-COVID level, attributed to the delayed recovery from the COVID crisis. This, in turn, creates a significant drag on total market growth going forward.

Meanwhile, television ad spend is stagnant and represents only 53% of total advertising spending. Television spending is still short of the pre-COVID total. Because spending will continue to erode, TV will never reach its all time high. 

In other mediums, print spending is still declining, and is falling by 17% this year and represents just 3% of budgets. There are only a few core spending industries that still deploy budgets on print: real estate, finance, autos, and consumer packaged goods (CPG). 

Lastly, out-of-home (OOH) spending is seeing a strong rebound of 20% this year as the economy recovers from the COVID outbreak in 2021.

Digital advertising spending will grow by over 13% in 2022 and represents 28% of total budgets. Growth is led by mobile device spending, which will increase by over 15% and represents 78% of total digital spending. By format, growth is led by social at over 15%, search at over 14%), and video at over 13%.

It is also noted that media owners advertising revenues are increasing by over 5% in Thailand in 2022 to reach THB124.3b (around US$3.9b). At a global level, media owners’ advertising revenues will grow by over 9.2% this year to nearly US$828b or about 32% above the pre-COVID level of 2019. Meanwhile, APAC advertising revenues will increase by over 7% to US$273b, which is 35% above the pre-COVID spending level, driven by digital advertising growth by over 12%.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Mediabrands appoints Raymond Dizon to newly created role of chief integration officer for PH

Manila, Philippines – Mediabrands, the media and marketing solutions division of Interpublic Group, has elevated Raymond Dizon, who was previously the managing director of Reprise Philippines, to step into the newly created role of chief integration officer at Mediabrands Philippines.

In his new role, Dizon, who will be based in Manila, Philippines, will be leading strategic partnerships, direction, and digital product development and integration across the Mediabrands network of agencies including UM, Initiative, and Reprise, in addition to strategic business units such as Mediabrands Content Studio, Magna, and Orion. Dizon will also be retaining his strategic leadership oversight of Reprise Philippines.

Dizon brings with him 14 years of digital and media experience, the last six of which across Mediabrands agencies UM and Reprise. Aside from his previous roles at Mediabrands, he also worked with MediaCom, PHD Singapore, and UPFRONT MEDIA.

Dizon shared, “We are firmly focused on the goal to provide our clients with the most progressive solutions. As the market continues to evolve, and the array of tools, technologies, and synergies open up even more opportunities; we are looking to provide seamless synergy across crafts and a thoughtful blending of expert insights. I’m looking forward to the many possibilities that lay ahead.”

Meanwhile, Tricia Camarillo-Quiambao, Mediabrands’ CEO for the Philippines, commented that Dizon has a strong track record of commercial business building and specialised digital craft leadership which includes pioneering work in the e-commerce space.

“The creation of this new role is a testament to the evolving needs of our client partners which is reflected in the structure of our organisation. Raymond’s extensive expertise and experience across multiple craft and categories make him perfectly poised to take on the broader strategic remit across the network of agencies,” said Camarillo-Quiambao.

Just recently, Mediabrands has announced the launch of the media industry’s first major transformation of automated systems for more than two decades. To bring the 20-month project to life, Mediabrands partnered with global software company UI Path, and information and technology services company, Cognizant. The transition fully automates repetitive manual tasks across Initiative and UM using robotic technology, providing an enhanced career path for talent and a stronger value proposition for clients.

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Technology Featured ANZ

Mediabrands launches major automation transformation, talent development, and retention capabilities

Sydney, Australia Mediabrands, the media and marketing solutions division of Interpublic Group has announced the launch of the media industry’s first major transformation of automated systems for more than two decades. To bring the 20-month project to life, Mediabrands partnered with global software company UI Path, and information and technology services company, Cognizant. The transition fully automates repetitive manual tasks across Initiative and UM using robotic technology, providing an enhanced career path for talent and a stronger value proposition for clients.

The game changing transformation marks a complete automation of all systems and processes, firmly cementing Mediabrands in a unique space ahead of its competitors and is supported by a bespoke Centre of Excellence allowing the agencies to tap into the capability. 

Mark Coad, CEO of Mediabrands, said the results of the transformation positions Mediabrands as a true innovation leader, having now advanced or improved many of the investment and partnership practices that have been in place for the last twenty years.

“The uncomfortable truth is the media industry has not changed the way it works for more than two decades. Our transformation unburdens our people of the time-consuming and tedious tasks of day-to-day operations and frees them up to do intelligent, creative work that drives growth,” Coad said.

“For those of us who have been in the media hot seat for a long time, we know it’s pretty tough starting out in media agencies. By investing heavily in finding ways to remove some of the less glamourous and more menial tasks from daily workloads, gives our people time to spend learning and developing in areas that drive business growth. Yes of course this benefits our business but more importantly it provides opportunities for our people to improve their career path and self-esteem growth,” Coad added.

Key business tasks have been automated to make processes more seamless, accurate and timely allowing teams to add value with their strategic input and creativity and provide a stronger value proposition for clients. 

Coad concluded, “Staff turnover remains a key on-going problem across the industry and the future will be won by the group who can deliver true career value, and improved career pathing. If you are working for a media agency still riddled with repetitive menial tasks like loadings, TV campaign tracking and post analysis, etc. – then you are putting your career development into slow motion, and not using the bright mind you were recruited for. Our Young Guns now have confirmation that Mediabrands offers a great career path.”

Meanwhile, Geoff Clarke, Mediabrands’ project leader, shared that the transformation was a true collaboration between Mediabrands and its technology automation and software development partners, and he was excited to see the results of nearly two years of development finally come to fruition quickly yielding obvious benefits to staff and clients.

“There is no doubt the complexities of our industry continue to rise so as an industry leader we have proactively changed what we do, to improve what we produce. This has meant implementing significant transformation to prepare our people for a new era in media,” Clarke said.

Clarke adds, “The robotic technology facilitates time for our team to produce higher quality work, which has a direct roll-on effect to increase the value of individual IP, increase craft skill diversity across each business and creates opportunity to shift client relationships from largely a commodity-based arrangement to a true business partnership,” he said.

Recent data extracted across several of the Mediabrands automated solutions (BOTs) since launch, has saved more than 3,300 hours automating nearly 13,000 tasks that were previously manually completed. The program is on track to deliver more than 25,000 saved hours across the next 12 months. 

Clarke continued, “By modernising and automating the way in which our media buying services are managed and recorded, we provide more efficient and timely services for clients. Our series of BOTS make up the only end-to-end solution that works across the buy/book/pay aspect of media agencies – and is the only one in existence in the industry. It makes a major statement to the market.”

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Marketing Platforms Southeast Asia

Mediabrands appoints Melinda Po as CEO of Greater China region

Singapore – Mediabrands, the media and marketing solutions division of Interpublic Group (NYSE: IPG), has announced the appointment of Melinda Po to the newly created position of CEO for the Greater China team.

Po is a modern thinker with a strong advertising and digital marketing background with 20 years industry experience across the Greater China region. Having successfully led Edelman’s transformation from a PR agency into an integrated business solutions partner from 2018 to 2021, Po drew upon her prior experience re-designing the Ogilvy advertising and brand content business model in China, in addition to previous senior leadership roles across Arcade and AKQA. Joining from her most recent role as President of Advertising at Ogilvy China, Po specialises in cultural and organisational transformation using her craft in the consulting space to help companies elevate their strategic relationship with clients. 

In her new appointment as CEO, Po will be responsible for leading the network offering across Mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Fully leveraging all the Mediabrands agencies and functions as a future facing media and communications partner to its clients’ business. 

Leigh Terry, CEO Mediabrands APAC said, “With an in-depth understanding of the complex ecosystem in Greater China, Melinda will focus on strategies to transform and futureproof the Mediabrands business across the Greater China region to anticipate the needs of our clients in the short, medium and long term.” 

Terry added that along with Melinda Po’s China digital marketing expertise, “Melinda has a fast-paced, modern outlook, with an open and empowering leadership style proven to be successful in driving transformation and top-line growth.” 

Melinda Po commented, “The ability to drive effective change and create positive transformative outcomes is a philosophy that I am deeply committed to and passionate about. In joining Mediabrands, I am eager to add my expertise and help chart the next stage of development across Greater China, leveraging the network’s strength in data, technology, content and commerce to build new and innovative partnerships.”

Melinda Po’s appointment to CEO Mediabrands Greater China is effective immediately, she will be based in Shanghai and report to Leigh Terry, CEO Mediabrands APAC.