Technology Featured APAC

Publicis Groupe, Playground xyz team up to implement attention measurement, optimisation solutions in APAC

Sydney, Australia – Advertising agency company Publicis Groupe in APAC has teamed up with martech company Playground xyz to implement attention measurement and optimisation solutions across Publicis Groupe APAC clients’ digital ad campaigns.

The project expands on an ongoing partnership that has seen Playground help Publicis Groupe APAC clients test attention-based solutions and build a clear understanding of the actual levels of consumer attention their digital display advertising receives.

Next stages of the partnership will look to test how Playground’s attention solutions can be applied to other advertising approaches and channels, including contextual targeting and YouTube video ads.

Playground xyz’s ‘Attention Intelligence Platform’ uses real eye-tracking data from an opt-in panel, fused with AI to deliver attention measurement and optimisation.

Sapna Nemani, chief product and solution officer for APAC at Publicis Groupe said, “Brands have always been in the business of capturing and converting attention. Yet, as an industry, we have found it hard to quantify this, until now. The ability to measure attention meaningfully gives us an accurate perspective on effectiveness, and this is a game changer.”

Meanwhile, Rob Hall, CEO of Playground xyz, commented, “We’re continuing to find that attention time is an incredibly reliable and effective predictor of brand outcomes. It’s capable of unearthing hugely beneficial insights that will undoubtedly help brands more effectively formulate their strategies. Attention data is the missing ingredient in advertisers’ quests to secure maximum ROI and we’re incredibly excited to be helping Publicis’ clients realise its potential.”

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Publicis Groupe SEA, Mana Partners team up to form Publicis Play

Singapore – Publicis Groupe in Southeast Asia has partnered with Web3 marketing consultancy Mana Partners to form ‘Publicis Play’, allowing clients to find a single solution to work with from creation, production, and placement to measurement.

Publicis Groupe and Mana see the offering as critical for a generation whose preferred means of social networking, entertainment, and commerce will soon be grounded in Play. The offering does not see gaming and the metaverse as two silo solutions, but as one integrated offer as the content and fandom from gaming are the foundation for metaverse experiences.

In addition, the offering is not just about badging brand presence but a belief that the future’s most successful brands will master Play – behaving authentically and earning attention and love from their communities.

The new offering helps brands discover and define opportunities where they can play in the long term, execute a fan-first strategy by designing purposeful and immersive gaming and Web3 experiences, and establishing robust relationships with key publishers, developers, esports teams, and ad tech partners that ensure an advantage for brands, players, and fans alike.

Publicis Play has already been piloted with several Publicis Groupe clients, including Singapore Tourism Board, McDonald’s, and PepsiCo, among others.

Ian Loon, chief transformation officer at Publicis Groupe SEA, said, “Connecting our Groupe capabilities with Mana Partners, who are intrinsically plugged into this rapidly evolving economy, ensures all our clients are welcomed into the community with access to true expertise. With the launch of Publicis Play, we can immediately deliver new ways to integrate and deliver between Web2 and Web3, provide measurable value, and drive business outcomes for brands.”

Meanwhile, Jamie Lewin, co-founder and chief strategy officer at Mana Partners, commented, “The Play Economy is the new modus operandi. Publicis Play is the gateway for brands keen to explore the full spectrum of opportunities, from gaming, esports, creators, and content, to participative digital experiences underpinned by Web3 philosophies and concepts. Our decision to partner with Publicis Groupe SEA was a real meeting of the minds on how we collectively view the opportunity.”

Lastly, Matthew Zatto, co-founder and chief commercial officer at Mana Partners, said, “In 2021, consumers spent more time watching gaming content on YouTube than the total hours of content watched on Netflix. By the end of 2022, players will have also spent one trillion hours and $200 billion playing games and 25 billion hours watching gaming content. On top of this, ad spends are also forecasted to grow significantly in the coming decade to more than US$214b annually. It is a huge opportunity but one that needs the right partnership between brands, agencies, and fans to create true value.”

Marketing Featured APAC

Publicis Groupe APAC & MEA launches internal program to shape high-potential female creatives for leadership roles

Hong Kong – Multinational advertising and public relations company Publicis Groupe has launched L’avenir, a leadership and creative development program tailored for high-potential female creatives across its network in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) and Middle East and Africa (MEA) regions. 

The program aims to change the gender ratio amongst its creative leaders across the region and to equip high-potential women with the skills needed for creative leadership roles. 

“Globally at Publicis Groupe, more than 50% of our workforce is female and 41% of key leaders are women: we’ve made huge strides when it comes to gender representation overall. Yet industry-wide, the percentage of female Creative Directors remains comparatively low,” said Natalie Lam, chief creative officer at Publicis Groupe APAC & MEA, who is also the key driver and developer of the L’avenir program.

She added, “To lead the change, we’re launching L’avenir, a tailored creative mentorship program that will nurture high-potential female creatives in two ways: career development, and creativity development.”

Publicis Groupe APAC & MEA will be selecting high-potential mid- and senior-level creatives every year to join the L’avenir program.

“We’ll identify our top female creatives, because true diversity makes the work better. L’avenir is a tailored program that pairs mentees and mentors according to specific skills and potential, backing up their positions as future leaders with a strong portfolio of work,” says Lam.

Fifteen female creatives have already been picked for the program over the last two months. They will be paired with 30+ mentors, including Publicis Groupe APAC & MEA’s Natalie Lam, Chief Strategy Officer Ed Booty, Chief Client Officer Anthony WongHead of Creative Technology Laurent Thevenet, and Head of Creativity Jason Williams.

They will be joined by top management and C-Suite leaders from Publicis agencies as mentors such as, Kelly Pon (CCO, BBH China), Sally Anderson (Group CD, MetaDesign China), and Ajay Thrivikraman (CCO, Publicis Groupe, Southeast Asia), amongst others. 

Anna Tomasetti, creative community manager at Publicis Groupe further explains, “L’avenir means ‘the future’, and it is a program where our future creative leaders can reach their full potential through targeted skills development and mentorship. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime career development opportunity for our participants that will contribute directly to Publicis Groupe’s creative and leadership base for years to come.”

The program includes 1:1 monthly mentorship meetings, career growth sessions with chief talent officers, tailored creative training sessions, and leadership masterclasses. Participants will also get to use relevant technology and digital tools. Moreover, they will get to partner with one of Publicis Groupe’s biggest clients in the final three months of the program.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Publicis Groupe SEA names Sujith Rao as new MD of Publicis Commerce

Singapore – Global advertising agency and public relations company Publicis Groupe in SEA has appointed Sujith Rao, former managing director of Reprise Digital, to be its new managing director of Publicis Commerce. This move aims to accelerate the Groupe’s commerce offering in the region and further unlock client growth. 

In his new role, Rao, who will be based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, will be working with Publicis Groupe’s network of agencies and practice areas across SEA. He will also be orchestrating a deeper connection between the Groupe’s commerce strategy and solutions with its creative, media, performance, and production capabilities, delivering data-driven end-to-end consumer journeys that are optimised towards sales and business growth for the clients. Rao will be reporting to Ian Loon, who recently expanded his duties as chief transformation officer for Publicis Groupe SEA.

Aside from his previous role at Reprise Digital, Rao also held roles at,, and IPG Mediabrands. He brings a wealth of experience with a proven track record of growing new revenue streams through the launch of innovative products and solutions, rooted in data and analytics. 

Commenting on his appointment, Rao said, “I am excited and honoured by the opportunity to work across multiple markets, brands, and capabilities, driving the evolution of Publicis Groupe’s commerce offering in Southeast Asia. Our global investments, locally relevant solutions, and the Groupe’s Power of One ethos are the perfect framework for crafting bespoke digital commerce innovations, and I am ready to get started on this journey with our clients.”

Meanwhile, Loon shared, “We are delighted to have Sujith captain and grow our highly ambitious Publicis Commerce journey. His credentials as a solutions architect, problem solver, and people connector will enable the Groupe’s ongoing transformation agenda while delivering innovative commerce solutions that marry brand building and conversion for our clients across the region.”

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Joanne Theseira elevated as new CEO of Publicis Communications SG, chief growth officer of Publicis Groupe SEA

Singapore – Global advertising company Publicis Groupe in Singapore has promoted Joanne Theseira, the current managing director of Publicis Communications, to be its new CEO of Publicis Communications in Singapore, where she will take on executive responsibility for Leo Burnett, Publicis Worldwide, Saatchi & Saatchi, Prodigious, and MSL. 

In this new role, Theseira will also champion the continued development of clear and ownable client, business, and employee positionings for the agencies under her stewardship. She will ensure that they are evolving in line with clients’ needs and reflective of the way consumers are engaging with brands today.

Additionally, Theseira will take on the newly created role of chief growth officer for Publicis Groupe SEA, and will report to Amrita Randhawa, CEO of Publicis Groupe Singapore and Southeast Asia. She will be leading Power of One accounts expansion, powering new business development, and managing the profile of Publicis Groupe in SEA. Theseira will also work closely with the Publicis Groupe SEA market CEOs and Practice leadership across APAC to deliver on the growth agenda.

Speaking about her appointment, Theseira shared that she believes that a strong and positive talent-centred culture is integral to the business of creativity, and this opportunity to hone and harness their different creative agencies is one that only Publicis Groupe can offer.

“Driving growth across Southeast Asia gives me an incredible canvas to scale and shape the future of our agency offerings and make a meaningful impact on our industry and our clients. I’m excited to get started,” she said.

Meanwhile, Randhawa said that Theseira’s passion for the creative business is addictive, and the clarity of her vision for their creative communications agencies and her determination to make the Groupe the fastest growing in the market is energising and impressive. 

“Joanne has demonstrated a strong capability to build high-performing teams and attract both clients and outstanding talent into the Groupe which makes her uniquely qualified to make an impact in this role,” she added.

Marketing Featured APAC

Suzy Goulding appointed as MSL Group’s new head of sustainability for APAC, MEA

Singapore – Publicis Groupe in Asia-Pacific has announced that it has appointed Suzy Goulding as the new head of sustainability for Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa for MSL Group. She will lead the strategy development and steer sustainability efforts for clients handled under MSL and support an integrated approach to ESG-related endeavours.

Goulding brings her expertise in strategic communications, sustainability, and social impact from her previous work at MullenLowe salt, where she was the Asia Pacific managing director for both the strategic communications agency and its specialist practice, MullenLowe Sustainability, which she launched three years ago. 

She has focused the past six years of her career at MullenLowe salt on expanding her expertise in sustainability and social impact, working with brands and clients across APAC and MEA. Prior to her work at MullenLowe salt, she established and managed the agency, Umami Collective, providing expertise in corporate communications, technology PR, thought leadership, and more to produce meaningful changes both within and outside of businesses.

Margaret Key, CEO for APAC and MEA at MSL said, “Suzy will be a fantastic addition to our team as our Head of Sustainability. As seen with the launch of Salterbaxter in Australia, we are driving a differentiated, compelling approach to ESG that leverages technical expertise and strategic communications. Suzy is the ideal leader to drive this novel approach to ESG on behalf of clients across Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Africa.”

Meanwhile, speaking on her new role, Goulding said, “I am delighted to be joining MSL at a time when the need for brands and organisations to drive sustainable change could not be more critical. I believe that most companies want to become better, but lack the knowledge and confidence to take meaningful and impactful action.” 

She added, “I’m looking forward to working with Margaret and her teams across APAC and MEA to help clients make sustainable changes with conviction and communicate their actions in a way that is honest, transparent, and credible.”

Marketing Featured Global

Publicis Groupe nabs Standard Chartered’s global creative mandate

Singapore – Global financial services company Standard Chartered has awarded to Publicis Groupe its global creative mandate, ending TBWA\’s 18-year streak of handling said account.

The global account will be led out of the Singapore office. Through the win, Publicis Groupe will be working on Standard Chartered’s wide-ranging communications mandate covering creative, digital and production services.

Claire Dixon, group head of corporate affairs, brand and marketing at Standard Chartered, said, “Following a rigorous pitch process, we have made the decision to award the mandate to Publicis Groupe. We are confident that they will be the right partner to take our narrative to the next level, by pushing our creative and digital boundaries.”

She also added, “We are thankful to TBWA\ for their support during the past 18 years to bring Standard Chartered’s brand to where it is today.”

Meanwhile, Amrita Randhawa, CEO for Publicis Groupe Singapore and Southeast Asia, commented, “It’s refreshing to be given the opportunity to work with a brand with such a purposeful belief, which was so clearly reflected in all the people that we met through this process.” 

She added, “It’s a privilege to be shaping a global brand of this stature and ambition out of Singapore and I could not be prouder of the team behind this win – they are absolute champions. We look forward to bringing the best of Publicis Groupe to bear on the business.”

The recent win comes after Publicis Groupe’s consolidation of the Singapore Tourism Board business in January 2022, and its spate of wins this year that includes Singtel in Singapore, L’Oréal in Southeast Asia and PepsiCo in APAC.

Marketing Featured ANZ

Publicis Groupe ANZ names Jason Tonelli as CEO of Zenith

Australia – Global advertising agency and public relations company Publicis Groupe in ANZ has appointed Jason Tonelli, the current CEO of digital agency Razorfish, to be its new CEO of ROI agency Zenith.

Tonelli will be continuing to lead Razorfish until the end of the year while his replacement is recruited. He will be moving into his new position at Zenith in January 2023.

In other roles at the Groupe, Tonelli was previously Publicis Media ANZ’s chief digital and technology officer, and executive director of technology, digital and content at Starcom Australia. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Audited Media Association of Australia.

Commenting on his appointment, Tonelli said that with a heritage of strong leadership and talented specialists, he could not be more honoured to lead Zenith and succeed Nickie Scriven, who has done an amazing job progressing the agency to where it is today. 

“The opportunity ahead in what we can do for clients is enormous. Working across the full spectrum of media communications, Zenith delivers insights that lie at the intersection of consumer, category, and brand – attributing every budget to stronger business outcomes, and more personal brand experiences,” he added.

Meanwhile, Michael Rebelo, Publicis Groupe’s CEO for ANZ, shared that Tonelli’s depth of experience in media, data, technology and creative solutions has made him a key member of their executive leadership team, and most recently, he relaunched Razorfish to position the business as a progressive digital marketing transformation agency, while as chief product officer, he strengthened their agencies’ capabilities in the core areas of commerce and attention. 

“Over the past ten years and in the various roles, Jason has held across the Groupe, he has shown himself to be a successful and strategic leader focused on building a strong culture and driving business outcomes for clients – making him perfectly placed to take Zenith to its exciting next stage of growth,” said Rebelo.

Just recently, Publicis Groupe has launched its sustainability consultancy ‘Salterbaxter’ in Australia. This offers solutions to help organisations in the country turn their sustainability promises into progress.

Marketing Featured ANZ

Publicis Groupe launches sustainability consultancy ‘Salterbaxter’ in Australia

Australia – Global advertising agency and public relations company Publicis Groupe has launched its sustainability consultancy ‘Salterbaxter’ in Australia. This offers solutions to help organisations in the country turn their sustainability promises into progress.

Salterbaxter provides end-to-end sustainability consultancy services, from materiality assessments, ambition modelling, goal-setting, and strategy development, to implementation roadmaps, creative activations, communications, and reporting. 

The Australia in-market team will be led by Skye Lambley, CEO of Herd MSL. Its local team including Stuart Wragg, Karen Dunnicliff, and business transformation consultant, Rebecca Zemunik, will be working closely with the global Salterbaxter advisory team through the Centre of Excellence and Salterbaxter’s global managing director, Kathleen Enright, to deliver best-in-class work.

Michael Rebelo, Publicis Groupe’s CEO for ANZ, commented that he is excited about the opportunity to help organisations drive meaningful progress and accelerate their sustainability journey.

“Although ANZ businesses are investing heavily in sustainability strategies, if they don’t bring credibility and creativity together from the outset, they won’t create the level of engagement needed to drive action, deliver on their targets and build reputation and revenue. That’s why it’s important to have Salterbaxter in the market,” said Rebelo.

Meanwhile, Lambley noted, “Our ability to leverage deep consulting expertise from world leaders in this space, coupled with local specialists, is exactly what Australian businesses need.”

Additionally, Salterbaxter Australia will bring to market a new data tool, ProgressPoint, that pinpoints exactly where a business needs to focus its time and investment to accelerate progress toward a more sustainable future and unlock growth and ROI from sustainability. This new tool also offers an understanding and measurement of sustainability performance, proactivity, and reputation, as well as the interplay between them.

Publicis Groupe said that there are plans to bring the Salterbaxter sustainability offering to other markets across APAC and the Middle East.

Marketing Featured APAC

Publicis Groupe announces new senior leadership elevations for APAC

Australia – Global advertising agency and public relations company Publicis Groupe has announced new senior leadership elevations. The appointees are Jason Williams, the new head of creative excellence at Publicis Groupe for APAC & MEA, and Andy Fergusson, the new national executive creative director at Leo Burnett Australia.

This shift recognises Williams’ contribution to Leo Burnett Australia over the past 15 years, where he is currently chief creative officer. In his new role, Williams will be reporting to Natalie Lam, chief creative officer at Publicis Groupe for APAC & MEA. He will be focusing on elevating the creative output of the company’s clients, and will continue to collaborate with Publicis Groupe Australia, bolstering the creative firepower of each market in APAC & MEA by connecting creatives, technology, media, and data experts to global brands and opportunities. 

Together with a regional team led by Lam, Williams will also contribute to initiatives that connect, inspire, and strengthen the creative community, from monthly creative sessions to mentoring programmes and inspiration sessions.

Commenting on his elevation, Williams said, “When Natalie first mentioned the possibility of moving into a role that champions creative bravery and business changing ideas across 60+ agency brands, it seemed too good to be true. The chance to unite the Groupe’s most ambitious clients with a squad of creatives, future-thinkers and makers, while still staying connected to the Leo Burnett family – it’s a dream role for me.”

Lam also commented, “Jason is a creative heavyweight in Australia and the global Leo Burnett network, now we are lucky to share his creative firepower with all of Publicis Groupe APAC & MEA and with many more markets, clients and teams. I’m thrilled to have the chance to partner with him to deliver even stronger business impact and creative excellence, as well as shape the overall creative vision for Publicis Groupe to be the best modern creative powerhouse with many exciting initiatives for a connected community of 4,000+ creatives,” says Lam.

Meanwhile, Fergusson will now be responsible for the creative product across Sydney and Melbourne. He will now be working closely with Emma Montgomery, CEO at Leo Burnett Australia, and Catherine King, chief strategy officer at Leo Burnett Australia to lead the agency’s growth.

Fegusson first joined Leo Burnett Sydney in 2020 and has been instrumental in the agency’s new business and creative wins, including the launch of ‘Feel New’ for Destination NSW and the recent Grand Prix-winning Suncorp campaign, ‘One House to Save Many’. Prior to joining Leo Burnett Sydney, he has led accounts across the US, Asia, and Australia during a 10-year stint at Droga5. 

On his elevation, Fergusson commented, “I’m beyond excited about the opportunity to help shape the future of Leo Burnett in Australia, alongside Emma and Cath. We have such great creative momentum right now across both offices. And with a bunch of truly ambitious clients, and a really strong talent pool, I think we are well placed to continue that momentum.” 

He added, “Jason leaves us with a strong culture of creative consistency, and I look forward to building on that. We wish him nothing but the best as he steps up to bigger and better things in the Groupe.”

Meanwhile, Montgomery noted, “Jason has been foundational to the creative success of Leo Burnett in Australia and we are thrilled to see this success recognised in this new role. We are also delighted to have Andy expand his creative leadership to take on the National ECD role. Andy’s progressive thinking and generous style, partnered with our borderless creative team, set the scene for an exciting next chapter.”