Bates China(达彼思) is enjoying a banner year, scooping up almost all of General Motors' corporate and joint-venture business, and a wide mix of other accounts.

Building on its award-winning work for the auto-maker's Buick roll out by its Shanghai General Motors joint-venture, Bates picked up the corporate GM of China account, as well as business from Jinbei GM, a Shenyang-based JV which will be launching Chevrolet vehicles next year.

Bates China is now the only agency in the network to handle the auto-maker.

It won the corporate account without a pitch, but beat an international agency for Jinbei. The GM of China business will involve work on its imported Opel brands, while Bates is working on a communications strategy for the mid-2001 launch of Jinbei GM's launch of the Chevrolet SUVs.

National managing director for China, Barry Leung(梁桂泉), said the last quarter turned in a bumper crop of new business – Pepsi Shoes, manufactured under license from the soft drinks giant; Amway for the launch of its skin care and cosmetics line, Artistry, and its health supplements Nutrilite brand.

"We now have four major business pillars supporting our China operations," said Mr Leung.

At 22 per cent of its business, GM is now one of the biggest accounts handled by the agency, along with British American Tobacco, Heineken and Nokia.

BAT and Heineken are handled out of southern China, Nokia in Beijing, and GM out of Shanghai and at Bates' newly-opened Shenyang office.

While he declined to put a figure on billings this year, Mr Leung said they were above target, "which is big news given the situation in Asia right now".

He said new business wins enabled the agency to add to its head count and office locations.

The agency now has about 260 people on staff, about 15 per cent more than in 1999. Of this, about 100 are working on GM.

"We're again looking at exciting growth next year, which will allow us to set up more offices in China," he said, adding that the agency was expecting its existing accounts to become more active following China's WTO entry.

In the pipeline for 2001 is the setting up of an office in Shenzhen, where Bates has already lined up business.

The agency recently picked up the 999 Pharmaceutical account, an active category with China in the midst of restructuring its healthcare system.

By: admin


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