Following Asia’s OOH boom, IPG Mediabrands opens Rapport China

IPG Mediabrands has launched Rapport – its global out-of-home (OOH) specialist media buying and planning agency – into the China market with the appointment of Jennifer Zhu as the managing director of the (aptly named) Rapport China. 

This latest agency launch follows last year’s opening of Rapport Hong Kong and (in addition to solidifying an Asia footprint) adds to 16 existing global markets for IPG’s OOH specialists.

“The growing use of OOH campaigns by digital media giants is both a testimony to the efficiency of OOH and an indicator of future growth, as marketing spend in the sector is set to continue its upward trajectory,” said Leigh Terry, CEO IPG Mediabrands APAC.

The agency stated that the expansion came following the release of a MAGNA Intelligence study in January 2019 which reported APAC to be the world’s largest OOH region, achieving almost USD$13 billion in sales in 2018. The report predicted OOH advertising revenues to continue to outperform in the next five years (2019-2023) with global growth of 2.8% per year, compared to a decline of 1.7% for total traditional media advertising.

“There has never been a more exciting time to launch into China. The Chinese OOH market is now the third-largest in the world,” said Michael Cooper, global president and CEO at Rapport Worldwide.

Cooper added, “The rapid urbanization of the Chinese population, coupled with market first adoption of evolving digital technologies means that OOH growth is out-performing at +9%. With a more mobile and increasingly connected population, our ambition is to create a competitive advantage for Chinese advertisers to connect with their consumers.” 

Zhu’s appointment leading this new endeavour – based in Shanghai – has been made effective immediately, with her reporting directly to Cooper.

Zhu commented, “The out-of-home marketing sector is evolving at a rapid pace. I’ve watched with interest as Rapport continue to demonstrate their ability to harness and integrate emerging technologies to create rewarding connecting for their clients internationally, and increasing across Asia. I am excited about the potential we have to grow and amplify this expertise, powered by the knowledge of a unique media landscape like China.”

With over 16 years specialised strategic leadership experience in the Chinese OOH industry, Zhu has delivered creative solutions to a broad remit of clients including Nike, Richemont Group, General Motors, Mercedes Benz, Chanel, H&M, LVMH, Prada, Rolex, Gap, and Ikea. Prior to joining Rapport China, Zhu was the general manager at Kinetic, an OOH specialist outfit from the WPP group where she led OOH business for Wavemaker China and Nike GC.

“I believe with Jennifer Zhu’s strategic leadership and a wealth of experience, Rapport will be able to make the best of our capabilities in data, technology and partnerships across IPG Mediabrands, to drive Out-of-Home innovations for our clients, truly building online and offline connected OOH experience for consumers in China,” said Tom Wan, CEO of IPG Mediabrands China.


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