He will work with Ogilvy offices across Asia, but for the first year of Mr. Broadbent's new job--his first outside the U.K.--his focus will be firmly on China.
"I wanted to come to Asia because I've heard there's more scope for innovation here and China has a brilliant history for innovation over the past few thousand years," he said. "China is also a gateway to Asia for the West, and for me personally, living in Beijing, rather than Hong Kong [Ogilvy's regional headquarters], provides a form of immersion in the local culture. I wanted to start with proper Asia."
The appointment is due to marketers' desire to have a more measurable return on their investments in Asia, a fast-paced, chaotic and often opaque business environment. The agency also hopes that measuring the impact of its work on brands as well as tangible effects such as traffic and sales will help Ogilvy creatives.
"Effectiveness supports creative awards and helps creatives improve their proficiency by understanding what works and how it works," said Mr. Broadbent, who starts his new position June 15.
It also marks the first time a network has named a regional director for effectiveness in Asia, and a first for Ogilvy anywhere in the world.
"Because of the dynamic growth in Asia, clients are having an increased focus on effectiveness and return on investment. Clients need to know how to measure the effectiveness of the work their agencies produce," said Paul Heath, president, Asia/Pacific of O&M's advertising business in Hong Kong. "Ogilvy is taking a giant initiative to answer our clients' needs by hiring a world-class effectiveness expert."
For the past two years, Mr. Broadbent was director of Brandcon, a brand evaluation consultancy he started in the U.K., where he is a well-known ad strategist and has scooped up more than his fair share of coveted IPA Effectiveness Awards.
He has also held strategic and planning roles at global agencies such as Bates Group, where he was chief strategic officer, Europe, Middle East & Africa for three years starting in 2000, and Young & Rubicam, as planning director and managing partner from 1994 to 2000.
He is also known in the industry as the son of Simon Broadbent, a global legend in media research and a founder of the U.K.'s IPA Effectiveness Awards, who died in 2002.
While China is viewed optimistically as an "audience of consumers" from the U.K., said Mr. Broadbent, "that's a pretty shallow way of looking at the market. It's not that easy selling to China."
At the same time, China is evolving into a challenger of existing multinational marketers. "As Chinese move towards creating their own brands, there's going to be a big shake out in Western markets," he said. "This is the most exciting place in the world at the moment."
Other people news in Greater China
[beijing] Susana Tsui to regional managing director, Neo@Ogilvy, the agency's digital and direct media operation in Asia/Pacific from managing director, XM China, part of RMG Connect, a subsidiary of the WPP Group. She will remain based in Beijing.