Package goods sales grew by 5% in China in 2009, down from 15% in the previous year, according to Kantar Worldpanel. Food sales fell, partly because of the tainted milk scandal that hit the country in late 2008, and a drop in cooking oil prices. At the same time, there was growth in premium-priced products in both food and non-food categories. Local consumers are shifting to healthier products, and are willing to pay more for safety and quality.
The $6.5 million appointment follows a pitch against the Beijing offices of Ogilvy & Mather, Publicis Worldwide, BBDO Worldwide, DDB Worldwide and two local agencies, WE Marketing Group and Joyous. For the past three years, Publicis has handled the account, while Ogilvy & Mather and Joyous handle creative for other China Mobile services and products in Beijing.
Cheil will work on the customer retention and other customer service businesses of GoTone, China Mobile's largest consumer brand.
The Hong Kong office will work with advertisers aligned with Mediabrands agencies Initiative and Universal McCann in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand, providing integrated search capabilities in paid search, search engine optimization and social media marketing.
Search engine marketing "is becoming more and more important in delivering positive business results," said Ruth Stubbs, president, Asia/Pacific of Mediabrands Ventures in Singapore.
The Hong Kong office is led by Anna Chan, who was recently appointed as Reprise Media's managing director, Asia. Previously, she was UM's head of search, Asia/Pacific. Before that, she managed direct sales teams and search marketing campaigns in Asia at Yahoo.
Taobao hopes the new service will hel[ its small business customers gain more insight into important aspects of their businesses such as inventory, product design and offerings.
"With better data, consumers will be able to shop more intelligently while manufacturers will be able to better customize product offerings," said Zeng Ming, chief strategy officer of Alibaba Group.
Sunny Saha, general manager, Asia of Turner Entertainment Networks in Hong Kong, describes truTV's genre as "actuality." The channel will offer unscripted programming that is "not staged, re-enacted or contrived."
Programs on the Asian feed, which will be introduced in other markets around the region later this year, will include The Smoking Gun Presents, The Principal's Office, The Investigators, Hollywood Justice and Speeders.
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