Jacob Johansen Opens First Leagas Delaney Office in China

Former DMG General Manager Hopes to Bring Skoda With Him to U.K.-based Independent

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SHANGHAI (AdAgeChina.com) -- Leagas Delaney is opening its first office in China. Based in Shanghai, the independent agency's operation there will be led by Managing Partner Jacob Johansen.

"There's a generation in China that gets China's new role in the world. They are confident and proud of their country and they want a Chinese take on brands not adaptations. They are leap-frogging traditional forms of communication in favour of new media," Mr. Johansen said.

Jacob Johansen
Jacob Johansen
"Also, too many international brands suffer by believing there's a mystique about doing business in China. There isn't. It's a mature market, in real need of exceptional insights and great creative work – just like everywhere else," he added.

Previously, Mr. Johansen was general manager of the Shanghai office of the Chinese independent agency Dynamic Marketing Group (DMG). He led that agency's car account Skoda Auto, part of Volkswagen Group.

Leagas Delaney also works with Skoda internationally. The agency said in a statement that the Czech car company "has expressed interest" in working with the agency's new Shanghai office. Besides DMG, Skoda also works with Grey Group in China.

Before he joined DMG, Mr. Johansen, a Dane who has lived in China for seven years, served as the business development director of TBWA Worldwide's Tequila division in China. Earlier, he was general manager of Ideafactory in China.

Leagas Delaney also said in a statement that its Chinese office is already working with two unnamed advertisers, and in discussions with two of the agency's other clients, Timberland and InterContinental Hotels Group, about working with them in China.

"It is no longer possible to offer our international clients what they need without an office in China," said Margaret Johnson, the agency's group CEO in London.

Leagas Delaney also has offices in Hamburg, Prague, Milan and Paris.

"All the big agencies have been [in China] for some time, so we're late. But most other agencies are adapting international campaigns for China. We don't want to do that. We want to employ our disciplines to offer China-centric strategic and creative across all platforms," said Tim Delaney, the agency's London-based chairman.

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