Zenith wins Coke, Hong Kong Telecom

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HONG KONG -- Zenith Media has picked up two new clients in Asia: the Coca-Cola account in China for all brands and the Hong Kong Telecom media business.

The Coca-Cola media planning and buying account, estimated at $25 million, is the first assignment for Zenith Media Worldwide from the U.S. soft drinks manufacturer.

The agency's CEO for Asia, Antony Young, says the win "represents a significant departure of the company's current practice in Asia Pacific of awarding the centralized media [account] to one of their creative agencies," and that the move "coincides with Coca-Cola's plans to significantly increase its media budgets as it looks to aggressively build its business in the world's biggest market."

Zenith pitched against McCann-Erickson, Leo Burnett and incumbent D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles. The creative accounts remain with Leo Burnett (Sprite and local brand Tan Yu Di) and DMB&B (Coke and Fanta).

The Hong Kong Telecom business - worth nearly $26 million, according to Maggie Choi, managing director of Zenith Media, Hong Kong - was won in a pitch against in cumbent MindShare, JWT and Ogilvy & Mather's joint agency, and Omnicom's Optimum Media Direction. The creative business is split between Bates and JWT.

Mr. Young says Hong Kong Telecom is the single biggest advertising account in Hong Kong, operating in an overall telecommuni cations sector that grew by 60% last year over 1996.

Telecommunications, particularly the mobile phone category, plus financial and banking services, have remained strong in Hong Kong despite the economic crisis affecting Asia.

Copyright March 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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