Boutique Hong Kong agency opens London office

Hong Kong boutique marketing and advertising agency MADE has opened an office in London.

The agency was founded in 2012 by directors Beanie Espey, who worked in brand management roles for L'Oreal and Chanel, and Joel Sadler, former Publicis Hong Kong art director.

Espey said expanding the agency into the UK helps it appeal to British brands looking to launch in Hong Kong, a growing portion of its clients.

"We have regular conversations with companies in the UK, which is where Beanie and I are from," Sadler added. "Our clients were already global."

Face-to-face meetings with key decision makers in clients' head offices in London means having more input in strategic decisions compared to simply communicating with their subsidiaries in Hong Kong or Skype-ing with UK-based clients.

"Agencies are usually expected to get the job done but without a clear picture of the client's overarching strategy, it's difficult to know what's the best way to achieve the client's goals," Espey said.

"There is plenty of choice in terms of agencies in Hong Kong, which can overwhelm clients coming in from overseas."

The expansion could also help the agency secure bigger budgets because it can get its foot in before clients have already entered Hong Kong and are locked up in contracts with other local agencies.

Espey said, "By the time we connect with UK brands in Hong Kong, they often did not have as much money for us for marketing and advertising."

The agency is not currently involved in the China market but Espey says she will consider allying with a local partner in mainland China in the future.

In the UK, MADE partners with marketing agency Future Proof and PR agency In Addition.  These strategic partnerships allows MADE to outsource work that outside of its expertise and to reach out to companies beyond the UK and Hong Kong.

"We do not compete with Future Proof because they help UK clients market themselves in the UK, whereas we are helping UK clients market their brands in Hong Kong," Espey said.

"In Addition is a great partner because as a PR agency, they are constantly networking and meeting new clients in a variety of industries.  It has contacts in fashion and lifestyle sectors as well as clients based in South America and the Middle East."