MD of Xaxis Singapore to head [m]PLATFORM Singapore

GroupM has appointed Regan Baillie as the managing director for [m]PLATFORM Singapore. In the newly created role, she is tasked with rolling out the Singapore business and bringing the [m]PLATFORM products to life for local clients.

In a statement to Marketing, a spokesperson from Xaxis said that Baillie will helm the role of MD of Xaxis Singapore for now while the agency looks for a successor. Baillie was appointed to the role in 2015 and leads the overall business strategy and operations as well as spearheading future digital development in Singapore.

To ensure its staff members had sufficient training on the platform, GroupM decided to gradually roll out [m]PLATFORM in different markets such as Australia, South Korea and Malaysia through trainings, before finally launching in Singapore to begin servicing local clients after similar trainings.

[m]PLATFORM allows clients to find and engage their audiences through deep and reliable consumer insights. It also combines programmatic, search, social, data and analytics into one machine. According to the press statement, it is "a major strategic initiative" to improve the way agencies within the WPP network deliver solutions to their clients. [m]PLATFORM will be a crucial focus of GroupM over the next few years.

Before joining Xaxis, Baillie was director of business development for Europe at Media Innovation Group, a WPP company. She also served as head of marketing and business development for Brunswick Group from 2010 to 2013.

Baillie started her career as a direct media planner and buyer, before moving into digital advertising as an account manager at 24/7 Media. In 2001, she co-founded and ran Echo Direct, a digital consultancy. In 2003, she moved into the emerging ad tech space as sales director at Mediaplex before joining premium ad network Unanimis as the head of commercial development.

“[m]PLATFORM was created to be the world’s most powerful collection of data, technology, and expertise enabling global audience addressability and accountability across all media. It will support all our agencies, markets and client teams. I strongly believe that Baillie will help bring that vision to life in the Singapore market," Puneet Arora, GroupM CEO Philippines and Singapore, said.

“Ever since its launch at the beginning of the year, the [m]PLATFORM business has made significant rollout progress, product developments and wins not just in APAC but globally. I’m very excited that we’re finally ready to put the flag down in Singapore with Baillie’s appointment as we continue the great momentum across the region with more appoints to announced in the coming months," Michel De Rijk, [m]PLATFORM APAC president, said.

Last month, former GroupM Malaysia’s head of [m]PLATFORM Robin Bach Kolling was promoted to managing director of [m]PLATFORM in Amsterdam. He assumed the role earlier this month and is responsible for the Netherlands market.

As Malaysia’s head of [m]PLATFORM, Bach Kolling was in charge of the digital specialist units of GroupM to support all the agencies including Mindshare, Mediacom, MEC-Maxus and m/Six in servicing client brands. This includes areas in programmatic marketing solutions, performance marketing, digital ad operations and data analytics.

“We already have senior management within [m]PLATFORM Malaysia, who are responsible for the different disciplines of Xaxis, performance buying, programmatic services, ad ops, community management, social listening, data analytics and content development. Some of these such as performance and community management are well developed, while other services are evolving in a rapidly changing landscape," Girish Menon, GroupM Malaysia CEO, said.

"All this will be integrated and delivered to clients with the support of a growing [m]PLATFORM client engagement team that will work closely with agency planners. In this context, we are looking for someone with the required stature and technical skills to lead [m]PLATFORM in Malaysia. In the interim, the management of GroupM Malaysia and [m]PLATFORM APAC are providing the necessary leadership to the team," Menon added.

Also in earlier this year, Jenny Bullis was promoted to global chief strategy officer for [m]PLATFORM, GroupM’s proprietary audience intelligence and activation solution. She is in charged with creating the strategy for the global roll out of [m]PLATFORM, ensuring that the data sets and the technology suite are the most powerful in every market in which GroupM’s agencies deliver media services.

In May, GroupM also appointed Lindsay Pattison as chief transformation officer where she will lead a number of change programmes to support group and agency structures. This also includes talent and leadership  development, culture and diversity, as well as WPP’s horizontality strategy.  In addition, Pattison will focus on senior talent development to ensure GroupM and its agencies have a strong bench of diverse leaders. Prior to the appointment, Pattison was CEO of Maxus, a role she held since 2014.