FYI 8.11.2010

Uni-President Sponsors New York Yankees; O&M Hires Ethnographer Michael Griffiths; GroupM Taps Lawrence Wan to Manage E-business Solutions; Consumer Confidence Rises in Hong Kong, Falls in China; Sanquan Appoints Euro RSCG; Tiger Gate Hires Jef Lim; COFCO Appoints JWT for Wu Gu Dao Chang

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The Chinese subsidiary of Uni-President Enterprises, Taiwan's largest processed foods producer, has signed a four-year sponsorship deal with the New York Yankees.

Uni-President Enterprises (China) will get field-level signage located between first-base and the right-field foul pole. at the Yankee's stadium in New York. Additionally, Uni-President's instant noodle products will be featured in full-page ads in the Yankees' official game program, Yankees Magazine, and in the official New Era Pinstripe Bowl game program.

Uni-President, a major producer of instant noodles in Greater China, is also a major sponsor of the QSL China Baseball League (CBL). In conjunction with this partnership, the Yankees will make a donation to the QSL Youth Sports Development Foundation. Organized under Project Hope and founded by QSL Sports Chairman Kenny Huang, the foundation is the largest childrens' sports-related charitable organization in China.

Mr. Huang, meanwhile, has made headlines in sports pages around the world over the past few days over rumors he is bidding to take over the Liverpool soccer club in the English Premier League.

Ogilvy & Mather has appointed Michael Griffiths in Shanghai as director of ethnography for its consumer insights and trends unit Discovery in Greater China. Discovery interprets China's social and cultural dynamics to help advertisers do more effective, culturally relevant and creative work.

In this newly-created role, Mr. Griffiths will be responsible for leading ethnographic and qualitative research projects for the Discovery team, creating connections with the academic community in China and internationally, and providing research support and analysis to Ogilvy Group and its clients.

He'll start with environmentally sustainable practices of consumption, analysis of China's domestic car industry, and how Chinese consumers save and invest. Before moving to Shanghai for his new job, he was based in Anshan, a steel and mining town in northern China where he worked in a hotpot restaurant in 2007 to understand migrant workers better.

GroupM has hired Lawrence Wan as Shanghai-based managing director of its e-business solutions in China. He will be responsible for developing new digital systems, tools and methodologies for GroupM agencies. Previously, he was OMG's general manager-digital in China and digital director for Greater China at OMG's OMD and PHD divisions.
Consumer confidence in Hong Kong rose two points in the second quarter of 2010 to the highest level since the global recession began in the third quarter of 2008, according to the latest global consumer confidence study conducted by The Nielsen Company. Job prospects and consumers' personal finances have improved, along with intent to spend money, contributing to a more positive consumer confidence figure.

"In tandem with a more positive outlook on job prospects and personal finances, consumers are opening their wallets for consumption and spending. Despite the unemployment rate increasing by 0.2% in the latest round, the stock market is stable and tourism numbers are also increasing, thus resulting in Hong Kong's consumers ending the first half of 2010 on a buoyant note, with more consumers leaving the recession behind," said Oliver Rust, Nielsen's managing director in Hong Kong.

Nielsen's Global Consumer Confidence Study tracked consumer confidence, major concerns from consumers and spending intention among approximately 27,000 internet users in 48 markets from May 10-26, 2010.

Consumer confidence in China, meanwhile, declined in the second quarter of t2010, according to Prosper China, a possible reflection of the current slight slowdown in economic growth in the mainland. experiencing.

Prosper, an information bank for businesses that market products and services to Chinese consumers, interviewed over 18,000 consumers aged 18 to 54 during the second quarter of 2010. At 56.5%, confidence is down seven percentage points over last quarter (63.8%) and nearly three points over the same period last year (59.1%).

Just as confidence in the economy has slipped, the employment outlook in China appears a little more uncertain. In the second quarter of 2010, 32.2% of Chinese consumers said they anticipated more layoffs over the next six months, versus 25.4% who answered that question in the first quarter. In the second-quarter survey, 54.8% of Chinese consumers said they expected current layoff levels to remain steady and 13% expected fewer layoffs.

Two in five (41.4%) consumers said that in the last six months they have focused more on needs over wants, 32.6% have become more budget conscious and 58.6% have become more practical in their purchases. Auto sales, however, are still growing, and 24.3% of respondents said they plan to buy or lease a vehicle in the next six months (up from 22.8% in the second quarter of last year).

Zhengzhou Sanquan Foods Co. has hired Euro RSCG, Shanghai without a pitch to handle its marketing strategy and creative for ambitious plans to reposition its flagship product line, Sanquan Champion. The Havas-owned agency's appointment marks the first time the Chinese frozen food giant has worked with a western ad agency. The appointment followed discussions with the agency after it was hired for a consulting assignment. Sanquan previously handled creative in-house or through local agencies hired on a project basis.

"Food plays an important role in China, and the country has a vastly diverse culinary scene with a long history. From the beginning, Sanquan has strived to marry traditional Chinese cuisine with modern convenience," said Edward Su, Euro RSCG's managing director for Shanghai and eastern China.

Tiger Gate Entertainment has appointed Jef Lim as head of programming and production for the company, specifically for its two new pay-TV channels KIX and Thrill. Tiger Gate is a Hong Kong-based pay-TV broadcaster owned by Lionsgate studio, Saban Capital Group and Tiger Gate's management.

He will develop original and co-produced motion picture and television properties such as a reality model competition series now in production for KIX called "Supermodelme."

Previously, Mr. Lim was head of content and production for Asia at Mark Burnett Productions, developing new concepts and adapting existing formats like "The Contender" and "The Apprentice" for Asia.

China Oil & Foodstuffs Corp. (COFCO) has hired JWT, Beijing, as the creative agency for instant noodle brand Wu Gu Dao Chang following a pitch against Grey Group, Publicis Worldwide and Bates Asia. JWT, Beijing began working with COFCO four years ago, handling projects for the Chinese food conglomerate's brands including Lohas and Le Conte. There is no incumbent. Ads were previously done in-house or by local agencies on a project basis.

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