Pfizer subsidiary Wyeth has appointed TBWA Worldwide to handle advertising and channel communication support for its Centrum multivitamin brand in China, starting in January 2010. The win follows a four-way pitch against Leo Burnett, Dynamic Marketing Group (DMG) and an unnamed local agency.
Billings were not disclosed but Wyeth is believed to spend about US$10 million annually on advertising in China, where the brand has been on sale since 1997. Wyeth has aggressively expanded Centrum's presence over the past four years. It is now on sale in 28 cities and is the market leader in at least 16.
"We continue to generate very strong sales growth and significant double-digit comps in China," Mr. Frankfort said. The mainland represents "a very small portion of our total sales to date but is growing rapidly and represents a significant opportunity for Coach."
Coach estimates that the total market for imported bags and accessories grew by 40% over the last year in China, where Coach has 33 stores, including outlets in Hong Kong and Macau. Besides stand-alone stores, the brand is sold in shops in department stores and factory locations as a factory outlet market begins to develop in China.
"Coach's potential in the China markets is reflected in our very low unaided brand awareness at 8% compared with 72% in the U.S. and 63% in Japan among targeted consumers," Mr. Frankfort said. "We're distorting our time and resources in China to really understand how large it can be. We are running well ahead of where we thought we would be, and we're finding great reception with Chinese consumers, particularly on repeat purchasing, which is key to developing a sustained brand."
Upstream's management team will remain in place, with David Ketchum, president, Asia/Pacific, joining the Bite Communications group board and executive VP Paul Mottram running operations in the region.
The win follows a pitch against unnamed agencies. There was no incumbent, as the spirits marketer has done little marketing in China in the past. The decision to hire an agency follows the appointment of Chris Yang, William Grant & Sons' general manager, China in Shanghai, in August 2009. Previously, he was sales and marketing director of British American Tobacco's operation in New Zealand.
Glenfiddich is the market leader in the single malt category with 30% to 40% market share, said Bang Liu, McCann Worldgroup's chief growth officer, China in Shanghai.
The brand is aimed at sophisticated white-collar workers and high net worth consumers in first-tier cities who "accept western spirits but have limited knowledge on what is blended and single malt whisky. Our brand positioning is to enhance the brand as the authentic whisky to aim to enhance Glenfiddich's market leader position."
"As leaders of single malt brands, we must be differentiated from the promotion of standard blended whiskey," Mr. Yang said.
TruTV will show "real people living real lives," said Ian Carroll, Turner's exec VP, Asia/Pacific in Hong Kong. "It's television at its most personal and uncensored. For viewers who enjoy exciting real-life stories told from a dramatic first-person perspective, TruTV will provide front row seats to the drama as it unfolds. We're open to advertising on TruTV but initially the majority of the revenue will come from subscriptions."
The announcement follows Turner's recent entertainment and lifestyle channel acquisitions, MONDO 21 and Tabi Channel in Japan.
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