Isobar’s Asia Pacific CEO Jane Lin-Baden (pictured) has resigned from her position to pursue other career and personal opportunities. Confirming the move, a Dentsu Aegis Network spokesperson said that Lin-Baden will support Isobar’s regional transition until July. In the interim, the Jean Lin, global CEO, will oversee the regional business for Asia Pacific.

“We thank Lin-Baden for her long-standing service to Isobar and wish her well for the future,” the statement added.

Lin-Baden first took on the role in 2016, and was tasked to drive strategic growth to expand Isobar’s capabilities and accelerate business growth throughout the region. During her tenure, she led the Isobar Asia Pacific team headed by Sven Huberts, regional managing director and Sandipan Roy, regional strategy director.

Before that, she was CEO of Isobar China Group, a role she continued to hold when promoted to her APAC remit, before the appointment of Grace Liu months later. This saw her being based in Shanghai, reporting directly to Nick Waters, CEO of Dentsu Aegis Network Asia Pacific and Jean Lin, Isobar global CEO. Lin-Baden was also a member of the Isobar global executive board.

Lin-Baden joined Isobar China in 2007 as managing partner when she folded her agency into Isobar (then wwwins Consulting). In May 2013, she was promoted to CEO of Isobar China Group, and currently leads five digital agencies with more than 1,000 people across six cities.

"After a rewarding journey of 10 years, I feel it is time now to pause and pursue new perspectives in my professional and private life.  I will continue to celebrate the successes of the inspirational leaders and exceptional colleagues in the network," she added.

Global integrated communications brand LEWIS has a new APAC 2020 大湾区 (da wan qu) plan to expand the Asian network significantly by function and geography. This includes the creation of eight new offices and three new digital hubs in Shanghai, Singapore and Sydney.

The expansion includes Bangkok, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Haikou, Ho Chi Minh City, Jakarta, Melbourne and Shenzhen. 200 new roles will be created. Specifically, the roles include heads of search, analytics, paid media and content creation in addition to account servicing functions at all levels. All roles are expected to be filled no later than July 31 2020, said the agency. The company has recently bagged new clients such as Bosch, Destination New South Wales, Digital Realty, Ferrero, Robert Half, Social Bakers, Sophos and Tourism Australia.

Jen Wu, North APAC 2020 controller of LEWIS said, “We plan to grow our regional presence significantly. China is internationalising rapidly and LEWIS is there to help clients develop their revenues in global markets. I’m in the lucky position to invest US$3m in our proposition in the Greater China Region."

Emma Jenkins, South APAC 2020 controller, LEWIS added that in addition to scaling the agency's operations, it will also be expanding on its creative and digital services. "There’s a tremendous amount of talent throughout Southeast Asia in particular and our investment will enable us to tap into and unleash it for the benefit of clients," Jenkins said.

“APAC is maturing rapidly to adopt a leadership position globally. LEWIS has three major advantages over the holding companies; Firstly, we’re a unitary brand; We have no legacy infrastructure to dismantle and we have more investment funding available than most competitors," Scott Pettet (pictured), SVP Asia, said. He added that the 2020 plan will "see LEWIS grow at a rate faster than almost any agency in the region".

"An ambitous plan requires talented, driven people to realise it and that’s what we’re looking for now – right the way across the region," Pettet added.

Marketing has reached out to LEWIS for more details.

Spark Foundry has appointed CEO of Spark Foundry USA, Chris Boothe (pictured), as global brand president, effective immediately. He will report to Steve King, CEO, Publicis Media, and Tim Jones, CEO, Publicis Media Americas.

In his new role, Boothe will focus on further scaling Spark Foundry’s brand proposition across 60 global offices in 35 countries, including Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong and China. He is also responsible for driving growth for the network and empowering best work for clients worldwide. Boothe will continue to serve as CEO of Spark Foundry USA, helming a dual role.

According to King, Boothe "fully embodies" the Spark Foundry spirit and has been central to the agency's transformation and dynamic energy. This resulted in "exceptional" new business momentum and client impact.

During his time at Spark Foundry, the agency brought on board numerous blue-chip clients including Audible, KFC and Southwest Airlines, among others. Spark Foundry also achieved regional and global wins under his leadership, such as Mondelez and Marriott International respectively.

Having worked in Publicis Groupe for 30 years, Boothe's marketing expertise spans strategy, investment, international business, business development, global product and agency operations. Prior to serving as CEO of Spark Foundry USA, Boothe was president/chief operating officer of Starcom USA.

“I look forward to working with our offices and clients around the world to deliver on our mission of bringing heat to brands,” Boothe said.

“I am confident under Boothe’s leadership, creativity, and client acumen, Spark Foundry’s unique positioning of a startup spirit and powerhouse soul will be brought to life around the world,” King added.

Last year, Mediavest | Spark, rebranded as Spark Foundry, highlighting its ongoing commitment to evolution. The agency’s services include areas such as analytics, technology and information, insights and content, in addition to media and investment.

The Singapore office is headed by managing director, Starcom, Ian Loon, while Malaysia is headed by managing director Wong Piyee. Deputy general managers Margaret Ho and Shirley Lau both helm the Hong Kong office.

Malaysian digital marketing agency Lion & Lion has expanded into Ho Chi Minh City, adding on to its list of operations in Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Jakarta and Hong Kong. Managing director Ben Waters (pictured) is tasked with leading the Vietnam operation and growing the business.

In a statement to A+M, the agency's spokesperson said the Vietnam office will be eyeing clients at a local level, as well as exploring the possibility of expanding its partnerships with existing global brands. The new office will have a team of content specialists and social media managers, bringing the potential headcount to 20 people over the next few years.

The spokesperson added that Lion & Lion's competitors in the market are both large creative and media agencies. Globally, the agency works with clients such as The Coca-Cola Company, Google, L'Oreal, Dairy Farm and Nestle.

According to Waters, Vietnam is an "exciting place" for the agency due to its growing population and high penetration of mobile internet access. He has been with Lion & Lion for nine months and was previously the managing director at CigElectric for over three years, a UK company supplying e-cigarette starter kits and e-liquids. He also worked as a digital marketing and e-commerce consultant for more than three years, serving Asia Pacific and UK clients.

"As a results-driven agency, our goal is to drive real and measurable business results in line with the objectives of our clients, by doing what is right, not what is easiest. Leveraging our skilled team and developing local talent, we will bring our international expertise and innovation, coupled with local insight and understanding to deliver impactful digital marketing to brands in the region," he said.

Joining Waters in the new office is business director Rosie Nguyen, who recently joined the agency fropm Yeah1 Digital Network, a youth-focused digital video content company, for more than one year. She was digital sales director. She has also worked at Scarlet Communications Agency, Dat Viet VAC and Indochina Capital.

Founded in 2012, Lion & Lion was acquired by Japanese Septeni Holdings last year for an undisclosed USD double-digit million amount. The deal sees Septeni supporting the agency’s expansion across ASEAN as well as strengthen its head office in Kuala Lumpur. No key personnel changes were made at the agency post-acquisition.

Lion & Lion recently nabbed Otterbox's search marketing account, and will be responsible for its search engine marketing campaigns and all paid search in nine countries across Asia Pacific, including Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Hong Kong.

Market research agency YouGov has released the results of its annual BrandIndex Buzz list for Hong Kong, with Moneyback being ranked in first place.

The rankings are based on compiling a year’s worth of data from YouGov’s BrandIndex. The system is fed daily readings as to public’s perceptions. Positive and negative responses regarding individual brands are collated to measure positive or negative buzz.

This years top 10 sees a markedly positive reception towards rewards programmes with Moneyback being joined on the list by Asia Miles in third place and HSBC’s Red Hot Reward of Your Choice in eighth.

Ervin Ha, Head of Data Products commented: ‘’When it comes to what brands Hong Kongers are hearing about, rewards programmes are doing well. Moneyback heads this year’s top ten, reflecting their efforts to get people to notice them. It’s clear that Hong Kongers love a good deal, whether that is collecting air miles or getting cashback”.

Another notable presence is digital brands, as Whatsapp, Google, and YouTube take second, sixth, and 10th respectively. A medley of other types; VISA (fourth), Uniqlo (fith), Nike, and Octopus (ninth), fill out the rest of the pack.

YouGov also revealed its most improved list - which shows brands who have taken a massive upwards surge in positive buzz - with AIA, i-cable, and Lancome taking the top three places.