SHANGHAI (AdAgeChina.com) -- TBWA Group has appointed Shanghai-based Donald Chan as CEO of its operations in China.
The group's businesses in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou include the TBWA Worldwide ad agency, one-to-one marketing and CRM division Tequila, digital shop Agency.com, retail marketing division Integer and Auditoire, an events and experiential marketing company. Previously, Mr. Chan was CEO of In-Game Media, the wholly-owned in-game advertising subsidiary of Shanda Interactive Entertainment, one of China's leading online game operators.
He joined Shanda in October 2007, after spending 12 years at Leo Burnett Worldwide. His last role at the Publicis Groupe agency was managing director, China. In 2005, he was named one of China's top 10 advertising executives by Modern Advertising, one of the leading Chinese-language advertising magazines.
At TBWA, Mr. Chan succeeds China veteran Gavin Heron, who will relocate to South Africa for a senior role at TBWA, Johannesburg. Mr. Heron relocated to Shanghai as CEO, China in 2002. Previously, he was TBWA's regional planning director, Asia/Pacific, based in Hong Kong. He joined the Omnicom Group agency in London in 1995.
The company also announced that Shanghai-based Ruth Ang, managing director of TBWA Worldwide in China, has been named managing director of Tequila in China. That division and Agency.com are key areas for the group in China, said Keith Smith, TBWA's Hong Kong-based president-international.
"Every conversation we have now [with advertisers] in China relates ultimately to a digital play," said Mr. Smith.
TBWA works with marketers such as Adidas, Apple, McDonald's, PepsiCo and Tencent, a Chinese tech company that operates QQ, a popular instant messaging service. TBWA also has a joint venture with Japan's second largest ad agency, Hakuhodo, to handle Nissan Motor Co.
In June 2008, TBWA Worldwide, Shanghai picked up the first Gold Lion ever awarded to a Chinese agency at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival. The prize went to an outdoor campaign called "Together in 2008, Impossible is Nothing" for Adidas, a sponsor of the 2008 Olympic Games. TBWA's Olympics-related work for Adidas was the German company's largest campaign yet for a single country.
As a result of the campaign, Adidas "is close to the No. 1 spot in China," said Christophe Bezu, Hong Kong-based senior VP and head of Asia/Pacific for Adidas. Sales in 2008 grew 30% in China from the previous year, and the mainland has jumped from the world's fourth largest market for the sportswear company's to second, right behind the U.S.
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