GUANGZHOU- MindShare(传立媒体) China has hired Siew Ping Lim(林秀萍) as its general manager in Guangzhou, taking over from Eric Cheung(张永强) who left late last year.

The appointment is Lim’s first role as general manager but her second stint in the southern China market, having worked there in the late ’90s with ZenithMedia.

Lim, a Malaysian, has worked with MindShare for the past two years, joining the agency’s Malaysian office as planning director on the Unilever business, before taking up a similar role in Japan.

“Siew Ping has extensive media experience – more than 10 years. We are confident that Siew Ping will drive our Guangzhou office forward,” said Bessie Lee, managing director of MindShare Shanghai and who will soon step up as chief executive officer of the China operation.

Lee said her key objective is to land a finance, dairy, pharmaceutical and electronics account, plugging category gaps in MindShare’s Guangzhou portfolio. Its present roster includes Avon, consumer goods company President, Agile Property and China Mobile.

The Guangzhou market, according to Lim, has made noticeable strides forward in her short absence. “One of the things I noticed on returning to Guangdong is that the advertisers are more progressive and are beginning to look beyond southern China,” said Lim.

Unlike Shanghai and Beijing, advertisers in Guangdong were previously focused on their geographic region, making it difficult for multinational agencies to secure enough business to support their operations. “It’s a good sign (that they are starting to look beyond Guangdong) although we are starting from a very small base. But advertisers here are becoming more like those in the coastal regions.”

While this situation is improving, Lim said Guangdong’s other main challenge was its smaller pool of joint-venture or international advertisers.

Despite this limited pool, the market boasts a longer history of advertising compared to the coastal regions. As such, Lim noted, 4A agencies faced stiff competition from developed and established local competitors in addition to their 4A peers.

MindShare – along with its creative sibling J. Walter Thompson- recently established a strategic alliance with local agency New Sun. MindShare will bring its planning expertise and buying service into the alliance for the partners to explore new business opportunities. Lee said NewSun partnered with MindShare, believing that the alliance “would bring significant value to their clients’ media investment”.



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