FYI 3.04.2009

Lenovo Will Cut 450 Jobs; Economist Shuts CFO China; Ogilvy's Thomas Crampton; BIGresearch Shows Rising Pessimism; Ping An Appoints Universal McCann; Tudou Launches Video Festival; DDB's Michelle Tan; Ogilvy PR's Sandy Moore; Y&R's Darryl Juinio and Jack Riggs

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Lenovo Group will cut 450 jobs in China, or 2.7% of its China work force, by the end of March, in addition to the 2,500 job cuts the Beijing-based computer maker announced last month. Lenovo, which acquired IBM's personal computing division in 2005, is eliminating positions that support global operations at a time when its overseas sales are falling dramatically.

"This resource action will further improve overall efficiency and help maintain Lenovo's competitiveness in the slowing worldwide economy. With this action, Lenovo will eliminate duplicative support and streamline core business processes," said Lenovo CEO Yang Yuanqing in a statement.

"In the face of continued global economic crisis, we must act decisively to reduce costs associated with global staffing and support functions to ensure our competitive strength and continue our effort to improve efficiency."

Last month, Lenovo announced it will lay off 2,500 staff worldwide during the first quarter of this year, about 11% of its total workforce, shortly after the company announced a $97 million loss for the fourth quarter of 2008. The loss, the company's first in three years, was caused largely by falling corporate sales in the U.S. and Europe.
The global recession has claimed two more print titles. Effective this month, The Economist Group has closed two magazines in Asia, CFO Asia and CFO China.

"Despite award-winning editorial and an investment in people, research and marketing, the magazines have not generated the returns required. Looking forward the poor economic conditions make the outlook for controlled circulation magazines very challenging," said Tim Pinnegar, the group's Singapore-based managing director, Asia/Pacific.

The conference and research services provided by CFO in Asia will continue to operate and will be integrated into the Economist Conferences and the EIU Research businesses. This decision in Asia does not affect the company's CFO magazines in America and Europe.
Thomas Crampton has joined Ogilvy PR in Hong Kong as regional director of digital influence 360 in Asia. His newly-created position involves training and growing the digital community within Ogilvy Group, advising marketers working with Ogilvy how to develop digital strategies and raising the network's reputation by blogging, writing and speaking about digital media across the region.

"This role combines my two great passions: Asia and digital. I spent more than a decade reporting on Asia and the last five years immersed in digital. It also fits my objective in leaving newspapers: Build businesses using the revolutionary tools offered by the internet," Mr. Crampton said on his web site

For the past year, Mr. Crampton has worked as an independent media consutlant for Asian companies. Before that, he was based in Paris as a correspondent for the International Herald Tribune and The New York Times, most recently covering media and technology news. He has lived in various Asian countries over the past decade including Hong Kong and Bangkok.
Despite China's fast economic growth in recent years, consumer confidence in the Chinese economy has declined for the fourth quarter in a row among young consumers, likely fueled by the collapse of the financial markets, a drop in exports and a worsening recession in the U.S. and Europe.

Twenty-three percent of Chinese aged 18 to 34 feel they are worse off financially compared to a year ago, according to research done during the fourth quarter of 2008 by BIGresearch. Research about shopping habits and media consumption is conducted through online interviews with more than 4,000 young adult Chinese consumers each quarter.

The surveys conducted last year indicated the percentage of pessimistic young Chinese has steadily increased each quarter, while the percentage of those who feel they are better off declined. In the first quarter of 2008, just 13.4% of young Chinese felt they were worse off, a number that rose to 14% in the second quarter and 19.2% in the third quarter.

The number of young Chinese who think they are better off has decreased from 44.5% in the first quarter of 2008 to 41.6% (Q2 2008), 37.4% (Q3 2008) and 28.0% (Q4 2008).

With young Chinese feeling the pinch when it comes to their personal finances and uncertainty in their economy, it appears they are cutting back on spending. The number of respondents who said they plan to spend more in key retail categories such as women's clothing and grocery items has decreased each quarter while those planning to spend less increased.
Ping An Insurance has appointed Interpublic Group of Cos.' Universal McCann, Shanghai, to handle its media planning. Ping An Insurance is part of Ping An Group, one of China's largest financial institutions, and spends about $16 million a year on media in China. The planning business, previously handled by GroupM's Maxus arm, moved to Universal McCann without a pitch.

In an unrelated development, Universal McCann has named Chris Skinner managing director of its Hong Kong office, which works with advertisers such as Coca-Cola Co., UPS and the chemical company BASF Group. He succeeds Alice Lam is retiring after two-and-a-half years at the media agency. Previously, Mr. Skinner was managing director of Universal McCann's sister agency in Hong Kong, Initiative Media. Ms. Lam has worked in the media industry for more than 25 years and is a former CEO of GroupM's Maxus division in Asia/Pacific.
Michelle Tan
Michelle Tan
DDB has appointed Michelle Tan as a business director in its Shanghai office, a new position overseeing advertising for the infant nutritional brand Friso.

Ms. Tan will across the group's agencies including DDB Worldwide, interactive unit Tribal DDB, and direct marketing specialist agency Rapp.

Previously, she was business director at OgilvyOne in Kuala Lumpur.
The Chinese online video web site and China Film Group Corp., a film production and trading organization, have launched an online video festival.

Entries can be submitted through late March on a dedicated section of Tudou's site. The festival will distribute awards to the top 16 videos publicly broadcast on during the past year at a ceremony in Shanghai on April 18.

The campaign's "bigger goal is building the value chain for internet video creative talents, who are getting insufficient attention and financing at this point," said Gary Wang, Tudou's founder-CEO in Shanghai.

"Our goal is to expand development and extend opportunities for amazing talents and vitality that we have seen on, hopefully in real terms such as cash financing and broadcasting opportunities."
Sandy Moore
Sandy Moore
Ogilvy PR Worldwide hired Sandy Moore, as a director of its China operation, based in Beijing.

Ms. Moore will assist with the WPP firm's investor relations and public affairs practices while also serving marketers in the health care industry.

Previously, she was senior director of media relations at Publicis Groupe's TMG Strategies in Arlington, Virginia in the U.S. Before that, she worked for Gavin Anderson in Tokyo.
Y&R has appointed Darryl Juinio in Shanghai as client service director in charge of creative for Danone's water business, a China client at the WPP agency since last year. Most recently, he was regional account director, Greater China at Saatchi & Saatchi, Guangzhou.

Y&R also relocated Jack Riggs, the agency's integrated marketing communications director for Asia, to Shanghai from Singapore to build teams to work on below-the-line marketing for brands such as Barcadi and Cerebos in China.

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