M&C Saatchi Malaysia builds up planning team

M&C Saatchi Malaysia has appointed Paul Gage (pictured right) as the head of planning in M&C Saatchi. Speaking exclusively to A+M, M&C Saatchi's spokesperson said Gage will be "employing his strengths in communications planning and analysis to take the agency’s roster of clients".

Gage reports to Lara Hussein, managing director of M&C Saatchi Malaysia.

Prior to this, Gage was the head of strategy for Asia Pacific (APAC) at Global Team Blue (GTB), based in Shanghai. At GTB, he led teams of brand, digital and communication strategists and planners in Shanghai, Delhi, Bangkok and Melbourne. GTB is a WPP full-service organisation that partners with Ford for business strategy, brand, advertising, media, digital, social and retail communications.

He also consulted and advised all other local markets across the region including Vietnam, Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan and New Zealand. Apart from that, he was responsible for brand strategy and campaign planning output for Ford across the APAC region.

Over the last two decades, Paul has risen through the ranks working with the likes of BBDO Proximity, Carat/Aegis UK, and IRIS Worldwide. Portfolio of clients he has worked with include Heineken, Volkswagen, Johnnie Walker, Adidas, Audi and the Royal Mail, the agency said.

M&C Saatchi Malaysia also named Chia Mei Yeng (pictured left), as strategic planning director. Chia, who now reports to Gage, was the lead planner at Dentsu One handling accounts such as Honda, Spritzer and Uniqlo.

Prior to Dentsu One, she was the shopper lead at Leo Burnett Malaysia. At LB, she served Dutch Lady Malaysia to develop shopper marketing game-plan to help grow the brand in both IFT and DBB categories, and provide channel insights for retailer customisation planning. She was also handling Philip Morris International as its lead shopper planner to developed strategic brand plan and localised key selling message for Marlboro brands, among others.

Chia brings in 13 years of marketing communication and shopper planning to her new role. Her career started in 2004, as an analyst with TNS-RI Malaysia. She uncovered brand insights that helped drive market share growth for global brands such as Nestle, Toyota, P&G, Tesco and British American Tobacco.

The appointments above comes after the agency expanded its creative team in October last year, naming Usamah Azlan as its associate creative director. It has also hired Faras Adanan as senior art director. Both of them report to Henry Yap, executive creative director of M&C Saatchi Malaysia.

On Gage's appointment, Lara said, “He brings with him a wealth of integrated expertise which will be invaluable to us during this period of digital transformation at the agency.”

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