FYI 6.30.2010

P.T. Black Leaves Jigsaw; Baidu Hires Kaiser Kuo; Heinz Acquires Foodstar; Mindshare Relocates Nick Binns to Bangkok; Leon Liu Rejoins Ruder Finn

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P.T. Black has resigned from Jigsaw, an Omnicom-owned youth marketing consultancy, where he has been a partner since 2005.
P.T. Black
P.T. Black

His future plans have been not been disclosed but Mr. Black told Ad Age China that he intends to remain in Shanghai.

Before he joined Jigsaw, Mr. Black worked at Siemens Mobile, where he helped launch a range of fashion phones and handled integrated sponsorships in China. Mr. Black, an American, moved to Shanghai in late 2001, although he lived in China earlier in the 1990s and became a fluent Mandarin speaker. Mr. Black has been a regular Viewpoint writer for Ad Age China since 2005.

The Chinese search giant Baidu Inc. has appointed Kaiser Kuo as director of international communications. Most recently, he was consultant, international at Youku.com, international media relations for the online video-sharing portal on a part-time basis.
U.S. and European marketers may be underestimating the online marketing opportunity in China, according to a new paper released Thursday and written by Brian McRoberts of Fleishman-Hillard and George Terhanian of Harris Interactive.

The paper, "Digital Influence Index Study: Understanding the Role of the Internet in the Lives of Consumers," indicates that China, with well over 330 million people online, may have the largest and most advanced group of internet users in the world.

Additionally, the paper argues that China has the smallest "mobility gap," which is the difference between the capabilities available on a smartphone and the number of capabilities actually used by the owner. Chinese users actually use 90% of available smartphone capabilities, according to the paper. By way of contrast, users in the U.S., France and U.K. on average use less than 50% of their phone's capabilities.

Nonetheless, westerners seem unaware of China's sophisticated use of the internet. A Harris poll found that 65% of Americans believed the U.S. had the most advanced internet users. The poll was conducted online in the spring of 2010 in the U.S., France, Germany and the U.K. A poll was also conducted via telephone in Canada.
--by Sean Callahan, the media editor at BtoB Magazine, a publication of Crain Communications

H.J. Heinz Co. will acquire Foodstar, a leading manufacturer of soy sauces and fermented bean curd in China, from Transpac Industrial Holdings Ltd., a private equity holding company, and various Transpac Funds. The acquisition of Foodstar would increase Heinz's annual sales in China to about $300 million and enable Heinz to enter the nation's fast-growing $2 billion retail soy sauce market.

Foodstar's Master Weijixian light premium soy sauce is the leading brand of Weijixian soy sauce in the southern region of China. Based in Guangzhou, Foodstar has four manufacturing sites and 2,500 employees in China.

Mindshare has relocated Nick Binns to Bangkok as head of trading for Southeast Asia. For the past two years, Mr. Binns was head of Mindshare's tactical planning in China, based in Shanghai.
Leon Liu has rejoined Ruder Finn as general manager of its Beijing office, which works with marketers such as Li Ning Co., Volkswagen Group, Michelin, andBoeing Co. Previously, he was head of communications for the Danish wind turbine maker Vestas, in charge of the company's China media communications strategy and program planning. From 2001 to 2007, Mr. Liu worked for Ruder Finn as an account director in charge of the company's corporate practice.


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