LEGO appoints IPG Mediabrands' Initiative for global media duties

The LEGO Group has picked IPG Mediabrands’ Initiative to manage its global media duties, effective 2018, following a pitch earlier this year. The appointment covers Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong and China.

Prior to the appointment, LEGO worked with numerous agencies worldwide. In Asia Pacific, it last appointed Carat to handle media duties following a pitch called in July 2015. The markets covered included Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong and Taiwan. The appointment also marked LEGO’s first consolidated media agency appointment for the region.

LEGO chose Initiative for its digital-first approach, international reach and strong local insights, according to CMO Julia Goldin. She added that LEGO believes the agency’s capabilities will support its long-term ambition to bring LEGO play to more children worldwide.

The appointment comes months after LEGO announced it will cut its global workforce by 8% to simplify its business model. It currently employs some 18,200 people, and is expected to cut 1,400 jobs before the end of 2017. In Singapore, the company has an estimated 300 employees. Meanwhile it has a small team of about less than 50 staff in Malaysia. Sources close to Marketing said the job cuts are going to roll out in phases, in a bid to simplify the business and is a part of a global alignment.

Additionally, LEGO moved its chief commercial officer Loren I. Shuster from its Asia Pacific office in Singapore to London, where he is now the chief people officer. Following the move, each of the regional heads from Asia Pacific, China, United States and European markets now report directly to LEGO's new CEO Niels B. Christiansen. According to the group, this latest management shake-up is largely aimed at streamlining and reducing red tapes on reporting lines, as well as regaining momentum within the company.

"The LEGO brand and iconic products have a special place in the lives of children and parents, and we’re honored they’ve entrusted us with such a big responsibility. We’re thrilled to be part of their team," Mat Baxter, global CEO of Initiative, said.

The account win marks the third global client Initiative has secured this year, following its appointment by Carlsberg in August this year. The global review was first called in March 2017 and was said to be handled by Ebiquity globally. According to global media reports, the review covers international brands, including Tuborg, Somersby ciders and Kronenbourg 1664, across 30 markets.

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