FYI 9.01.2010

Maggie Choi Leaves OMD; GroupM Hires Tony Chen; Acxiom Partners With China Post; Jahwa Appoints Publicis; Bohi to Work With Euro RSCG; China Citic Bank Appoints Optimedia; SapientNitro Hires Tiffana Pun

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Maggie Choi
Maggie Choi
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Maggie Choi has resigned from OMD, effective November 2010, after 13 years with the Omnicom Group agency. Since early 2008, Hong Kong-based Ms. Choi has served as CEO, Asia/Pacific for Omnicom Media Group.

Before that, she was in charge of the media network's Greater China operation. Ms. Choi, who is leaving the company for personal reasons, will not be replaced.

Her regional responsibilities at OMD will now be handled by Barry Cupples, Omnicom Media Group's Singapore-based CEO, Asia/Pacific.

Tony Chen
Tony Chen
GroupM has appointed Tony Chen in Beijing as managing director-interaction for China. Previously, he was general manager-consumer direct for Greater China at Dell. He also worked in senior management roles at RealNetwork, Ebay and Yahoo! in China.

Mr. Chen will oversee the group's digital business and will work with the digital teams at GroupM agencies like Mindshare, MEC and MediaCom.

"Digital is one of our key revenue drivers now and in the future," said Bessie Lee, GroupM's China CEO in Beijing.

Acxiom Corp. has signed a strategic cooperation agreement with China Post Group to jointly expand China's direct mail business by leveraging database marketing services in one of the world's largest countries.

Although the direct mail industry has grown over the past few years, it is still in a development stage, particularly compared to digital marketing in China, which has grown rapidly in recent years.

China Post has focused on helping coastal small- and medium-sized enterprises develop markets and increase business through database building and direct mail programs, but the tie-up with Acxiom will give it access to "advanced data analytics technology and marketing concepts, enhancing China Post's full range of services to create one-stop capabilities," said China Post VP Li Guohua in Beijing.

Liushen products
Liushen products
Shanghai Jahwa United Co., a major Chinese cosmetics company with roots going back to 1898, has appointed Publicis Worldwide, Shanghai to handle advertising and packaging for Liushen, a local personal care brand.

Liushen's product portfolio, including eau de toilette, body washes, and body care products, are aimed at 20-to-35-year-old urban married women.

Shandong Bohi Industry Co., a Chinese food manufacturer, has appointed Euro RSCG, Shanghai to handle brand positioning for its cooking oil product line Bohi, following a pitch against undisclosed multinational agencies.

The agency will focus on building a communications strategy, creative campaigns and package designs for Bohi's main cooking oil brand, Gourmet Expert, but it will work Bohi's entire range of cooking oil brands. Currently a regional brand based in Shandong, Bohi wants to build Gourmet Expert into a national brand and a top-three player in China within three years, said Edward Su, managing director of Euro RSCG, Shanghai.

China Citic Bank Corp. has hired Publicis Groupe's Optimedia, Beijing, to handle the media planning and buying business for its credit card business.

The agency will develop "features of Citic Bank credit cards and design a tailored marketing strategy with local consumers' preferences, said Steven Chang, ZenithOptimedia's CEO, Greater China in Shanghai.

Credit card usage in China has not developed quickly, due to restrictions placed on foreign financial institutions, difficulties evaluating the credit rating of local consumers, the relatively low number of local merchants in China who accept credit cards and the rapid development of alternative payment systems such as Alibaba Group's Alipay and China Union Pay.

But the number of credit card users is rising. China Citic Bank, which has issued credit cards since the end of 2003, expects net profit at its credit card center to surge 70% this year. The Beijing-based bank issued more than 10 million credit cards by last spring, becoming the sixth bank in China to surpass the 10-million credit card target .

SapientNitro has hired Tiffana Pun in Shanghai as head of strategy and planning, effective September 2010. Previously, she was head of planning for at Saatchi & Saatchi, based in Guangzhou.

Nitro has also hired Jane Qi in Shanghai as planning manager, responsible for the agency's Mars brands in China. Her last position was planning manager at JWT, Shanghai.

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