FYI 04.08.2009

China Downturn Over by 2010; Carat's Jake Vander Linden; Euro RSCG's Jordan Hsueh; Group M's Sara Ye and Claudine Kwek and Mindshare's Mateo Eaton

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China's economy will shake off the effects of the world economic downturn and return to a booming and vibrant state by 2010, according to senior marketers in China.

A mood of cautious optimism exists in marketing departments, according to a survey conducted by the market research company Millward Brown-ACSR and the PR firm Hill & Knowlton. They interviewed 59 chief marketing officers and senior marketing directors to gauge their attitudes and responses to the economic downturn in China. The results of the survey were presented in Shanghai at an event on April 2 organized by the Marketing Group of China.

About 75% of those interviewed said they believe the economy will turn around by 2010, and most respondents said they think China will recover more quickly than the West, where the impact on consumers has been more serious.

The findings also indicated marketers were exploring alternative and perhaps more cost effective media channels in 2009, with a marked interest in digital media and in-store communications. However, with pressure to cut costs mounting in boardrooms across the globe, marketing budgets are being tightened, and the survey indicated that smaller, focused marketing channels are being cut.

This tactic could ultimately be self-defeating in the longer term, said Jason Spencer, managing director of Millward Brown-ACSR, Shanghai. "Marketers claim to be cutting down on lower-reach channels such as sponsorship and events, which may be somewhat short-sighted especially if they are looking to connect more strongly with their current customer base, as only such targeted channels can."
Carat has appointed Jake Vander Linden as communications planning director, China based in Shanghai, a role previously handled by Seth Grossman, who was recently promoted to managing director, eastern China.

Mr. Vander Linden joined Carat in the U.S. in 2001, where he developed communications planning for marketers such as Procter & Gamble Co. (P&G), Hasbro, Caesars Palace, Roman Meal Bread and Pfizer's consumer health care unit. Most recently, he was based in Manila as senior VP, head of communications planning and director of P&G's media in the Philippines.
Euro RSCG has appointed Jordan Hsueh in Beijing as chief creative officer, North Asia.
Most recently, he was exec creative director at JWT, Beijing, working with advertisers such as Nestle and major local companies like Chinese dairy marketer Yili Group, mobile phone phone provider China Unicom and Zhong Liang Flour Mill which is owned by COFCO, one of China's largest food manufacturers.

Before that, he spent six years at McCann Erickson, Beijing, which handled brands such as Motorola, Nestle, UPS, China Telecom, Reckitt Benckiser and the Taiwanese noodle line, Master Kong.
Group M has appointed Sara Ye as general manager, search marketing, responsible for the strategic and operational development of the WPP Group company's search marketing teams at Maxus, Mediacom, Mediaedge:cia and Mindshare in China.
Group M's Sara Ye
Group M's Sara Ye
Before joining Group M, she spent four years at Google, where her last role was product marketing manager, Asia/Pacific. She will remain based in Beijing. Before Google, she was an internet marketing consultant in San Francisco, Calif., but she started her marketing career at JWT in Guangzhou.

Group M has also appointed Claudine Kwek, 38, in Shanghai as chief operating officer, China, responsible for operations across the group's businesses and disciplines in the mainland as well as driving the group's acquisition strategy in China and leading internal and external audits.

Previously, she was WPP's regional risk officer and head of internal audits, based in Hong Kong. She has also held senior financial and audit roles in JWT and ExxonMobil.
WPP's Mindshare has promoted Mateo Eaton to partner-invention for North Asia, including China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan, based in Hong Kong. Previously he was based in Shanghai as partner-invention for China, a role that has been taken on by Fer Wang, who was Group M's director of interaction ESP, its digital content department, also in Shanghai.

Mr. Eaton joined Mindshare in 2006, and was the architect of successful branded content initiatives organized by Mindshare in the past year, such as Unilever's sponsorship of the Chinese TV version of "Ugly Betty" and Ford Motor Co.'s "Driving Me Crazy" program.

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