CP&B Expands Into China With Infiniti Win

Agency Had Been 'Actively Exploring' Setting Up Shop In Asia

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MDC's CP&B is expanding into China as the the shop takes on the sizeable Infiniti account.

Infiniti, owned by Nissan, confirmed Monday that it tapped CP&B to handle global creative work for the brand after rumblings of a review began nearly a year ago, though executives familiar with the business had already said that CP&B was set to be named. Work had long been handled by Omnicom's TBWA.

CP&B is opening an office in Shanghai, a growing hub for the agency world that already has a presence from many of the global agency networks including Omnicom's DDB and TBWA, Publicis Groupe's Leo Burnett, Interpublic's McCann, as well as major media agencies and holding company agencies with a smaller footprints including WPP's AKQA and MDC's Anomaly.

Although CP&B is opening its China office, the account will be led out of its Boulder, Colo., headquarters.

Infiniti and CP&B will put an initial focus on the U.S., China and Canadian markets as the automaker seeks to attract "young-minded premium consumers," according to the statement. Among the models CP&B will be marketing are the Q30, Infiniti's premium compact entry that will be built in Europe and is due to be launched in 2015, the statement said.

CP&B has been eyeing China for nearly all of 2014, if not longer. The agency told Ad Age earlier this year that it was "actively exploring" an office in China as part of its expansion plan. The agency earlier this year acquired Richard Pinder's House Worldwide. CP&B has has offices in Boulder, Colo.; Miami; Los Angeles; London; São Paulo, Brazil; Gothenburg, Sweden; and Copenhagen, Denmark.

As for why Infiniti chose CP&B, Vincent Gillet, Infiniti's VP-global marketing, said in a statement Monday: "Crispin Porter + Bogusky has a demonstrated ability launching and nurturing brands and is an excellent match for our mission: elevating Infiniti to be a global premium brand."

Aside from actively looking to expand its footprint, CP&B's also been aggressively going after an auto account, given it has experience in the category. One of the accounts that put CP&B on the map as a hot shop in the early 2000's was its work for the U.S. introduction of Mini.

A Mini review overseas had been unfolding simultaneously with the Infiniti review. According to people familiar with that review, Mini is set to name CP&B's London office to handle a global campaign for a new Mini model. These people said the two auto accounts won't conflict with one another, and will be handled by different teams and different offices.

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