SHANGHAI (AdAgeChina.com) -- Saatchi & Saatchi has turned to a veteran marketer, Justin Billingsley, to run its operation in China, a key market where the Publicis Groupe agency works with advertisers such as Procter & Gamble Co., Volkswagen Group, Ikea and local companies like Tsingtao Brewery Co.
Greater China is "a key strategic growth market" for Saatchi & Saatchi, said Ian Rowden, the agency's CEO, Asia/Pacific. "Justin's global brand perspective combined with his extensive experience across Asia Pacific make him the perfect choice to lead the next stage of our growth in this key region."
In his first job at an ad agency, Mr. Billingsley will take on the newly-created role of CEO Greater China at Saatchi & Saatchi, responsible for the agency's offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Taipei, Taiwan. He is also managing director of its Shanghai office.
Previously based in London, Mr. Billingsley was most recently the brand marketing director for Orange, a leading mobile-phone-service provider in the U.K. He was responsible for brand communications, digital and direct marketing, sponsorship, design and retail marketing.
Before that, the Australia native was a global brand director at Nokia Corp., where he worked on the mobile-phone manufacturer's "Live" portfolio of premium hand-sets. He also handled planning and execution for Nokia in Asia, including China.
Earlier, he spent eight years at Coca-Cola Co. in a range of global and local roles based in the U.S., the U.K., Indonesia, Singapore, New Zealand and Australia, including a job as global brand manager based at Coke's headquarters in Atlanta, and brands director for all Coca-Cola soft-drink brands in the U.K. Mr. Billingsley began his career with Unilever in Australia.
He moved to an agency role, he said, because he admires Saatchi & Saatchi's "approach to building 'Lovemarks' with their partners [but hopes] to bring my client perspective to leading the agency to show our partners how a deeper understanding of their business and brand challenges means we come up with better creative solutions."
In other moves, Pully Chau, previously CEO of Saatchi's offices in Shanghai and Guangzhou, is now CEO of Guangzhou and Hong Kong, and Anthony Plant, previously CEO of the agency's Hong Kong office, becomes regional brand director for Procter & Gamble's Pampers and Crest business in Asia. Both will be based in Hong Kong.
Charles Sampson, CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi, Beijing and Chris Fay, CEO of the agency's office in Taipei, remain in their current roles and will also report to Mr. Billingsley.
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