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SINGAPORE -- WPP Group's Ogilvy & Mather Asia/Pacific has launched a marketing communications company, Red Card, in Singapore, which will be "anarchic, abstract, visual, aural, sensory but always involving, unexpected and, most importantly, on brand," said David Mayo, Red Card's director. "It is brand guerrilla warfare."

Red Card will offer "planned" unplanned events, strategic brand thinking and feedback on brand effect. "We're not asking clients to move their entire marketing budgets out of conventional media channels and onto the streets," Mayo said, but "we are offering them the chance to amplify their core messages through less conventional and perhaps more effective channels."

By May, O&M will roll out Red Card beyond Singapore to Indonesia and the Philippines. The brand will be introduced in Malaysia and Japan later this year, followed by a debut in Hong Kong and China in 2002.

In Southeast Asia, Red Card is already working with Motorola Corp., and the agency is now finalizing agreements with other leading regional brands such as Unilever. All assignments will be fee-based.

"There are no other Red Card offices anywhere else in the world. Indeed, there is no other guerrilla marketing offering anywhere else inside the WPP network currently, apart from Brand Buzz, which is part of Young & Rubicam Advertising, New York. If successful, Red Card is easily exported," Mayo added.

The agency's name is a sports reference: In soccer, referees hand down red cards for unconventional behavior, something the network associates with O&M's corporate color and the unconventional behavior of its founder, David Ogilvy.

Mayo joined O&M in 1997 as regional business director in Singapore, where he handled the agency's Tricon (KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell), Cerebos and Guinness accounts for Asia/Pacific. -- Normandy Madden

Copyright April 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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