M&C Saatchi Singapore's advertising arm will be merging its business with its Malaysia branch as the agency looks to make operations "more aligned". The team will be led by CEO Lara Hussein. MARKETING-INTERACTIVE understands that M&C Saatchi Performance on the other hand will remain.
"Under Hussein's ongoing leadership, we are focused on our clients and partners and will continue to evolve our offering as we look forward to 2024," said a spokesperson. "With any change, it is right to look at our team structure and that process has resulted in a small number of senior departures in the Singapore business. I would like to take this opportunity to thank those people for their contribution to the business," he added.
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The Singapore office was being run by Madina Kalyayeva, managing director of M&C Saatchi Group Singapore and Ali Shabaz, chief creative officer, who took on the role in 2022. Under their leadership, some of the agency's notable client wins include DFI Retail Group which handed the agency a three-year contract, with a one-year optional extension covering both Singapore and Malaysia just last year. The agency currently works closely with DFI’s team to create campaigns for its stable of brands across the two countries including Giant, Cold Storage, CS Fresh and Guardian in Singapore as well as Giant, Giant Mini, Mercato and Cold Storage in Malaysia. The agency also works with WWF Singapore.
Both Shabaz and Kalyayeva were also tasked to identify and develop the right people and partnerships to deliver impactful brand storytelling and innovative solutions across every touchpoint, M&C Saatchi said in a statement at the time.
Earlier this year, M&C Saatchi also appointed Anish Daryani as chief growth officer for Southeast Asia.
In this role, Daryani drives growth through regional new business, the development of new capabilities for the region, and the expansion into new markets, while continuing to lead M&C Saatchi Indonesia as president director. According to his LinkedIn, Daryani has been the founder and president director of M&C Saatchi Indonesia since 2018.
In September this year, M&C Saatchi’s Australia Group CEO Justin Graham (pictured) also took on a new role — helming a combined Australian and Asia office.
This is the second time that M&C Saatchi will be retreating from Singapore. In 2008, M&C Saatchi left Singapore after 13 years and moved its regional headquarters to Hong Kong. Currently M&C Saatchi's Hong Kong operations are run by Spenser Wong, CEO and chief creative officer.
In 2012, the agency gave Singapore a second go with the launch of a full-service agency in Singapore, co-owned by senior local talent Tanuj Philip as CEO and the global network at the time.
"M&C Saatchi Singapore is not set up as a foreign company with local managers; we have local ownership with the backing of an international network," he said in a 2012 interview with MARKETING-INTERACTIVE.
In a separate interview to MARKETING-INTERACTIVE at the time, Chris Jaques, CEO, M&C Saatchi Asia, said the company always intended to restart in Singapore. "Singapore presents a real opportunity for M&C Saatchi - the Asian market is strong and business in Singapore is buoyant. M&C Saatchi's global influence will be further underlined by establishing ourselves in this influential territory.
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