VivaKi's Yifei Li

Ex-MTV China Exec Brings Senior Government Connections to Publicis Groupe

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SHANGHAI ( -- VivaKi, the media and digital division of Publicis Groupe, has appointed Beijing-based Yifei Li as chairman, Greater China. Ms. Li will work with the regional and local leadership of the group's media divisions, including Digitas, Starcom MediaVest Group and ZenithOptimedia.

VivaKi was established to leverage the combined scale of its media and digital operations. It also supports the other divisions by providing research and development, consumer insights and specific tools to help advertisers working with all the Publicis media agencies connect with consumers in an increasingly digital world.

Yifei Li
Yifei Li
Ms. Li's appointment, a new position, signifies the importance of China, which is projected to be the world's fourth largest advertising market in 2009, said David Kenny, VivaKi's Boston-based managing partner.

Ms. Li "will help our clients and media owners expand and grow businesses in this digital era. She combines powerful business acumen and marketplace knowledge."

Previously, Ms. Li was managing director, China at GLG Partners, an asset management company. Before that, the former martial arts champion was an exec VP at MTV Networks Asia based in Beijing as well as chief representative of Viacom's operations in China, the main role that led to her appointment at Publicis Groupe.

While at MTV and Viacom, Ms. Li was instrumental in building the MTV and Nickelodeon brands and businesses in China, one of the most difficult countries in the world for western media companies. MTV has been one of the most successful of the foreign broadcasters at gaining a foothold in China.

"She has tremendous contacts within China's media industry, including government officials and media regulators, people who are important to our business. We need to know them, and she brings this knowledge and experience to the table," said Philip Talbot, the Hong Kong-based CEO, Asia/Pacific at ZenithOptimedia.

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