Russell Lai joins Havas Media as executive director

Russell Lai has joined Havas Media as executive director. He reports to newly appointed MD Jacqui Lim and CEO Melvin Lim. Havas Media confirmed the move to Marketing adding that he will be handling the DBS and FairPrice accounts.

“We look forward to him joining our team and augmenting our offering with his enthusiastic and contagious winning mindset, a mindset that I know we already have and that’s why he will, naturally, fit into and make a tremendous boost to our team.  What struck me most about Lai is his enthusiasm for our industry and his penchant for taking every new brief as a new challenge,” said Melvin Lim.

Prior to Havas, Lai held a short stint at local agency Briq. He was also the senior business director at UM Singapore and left the role in October last year after less than a year. UM Singapore told Marketing that no replacement for Lai has been named.

At UM Singapore, Lai (pictured) was appointed to oversee the agency’s business development, building competencies including social and digital, programmatic and search, as well as leading the teams to bring UM clients cutting edge media solutions in their efforts for brand building. Prior to UM, he was regional planning director for LVMH. In his role at UM Singapore, Lai reported to Pat Lim, managing director of IPG Mediabrands, Singapore.

Lai has over the years worked with known and noted brands such as Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy Group, Health Promotion Board, Singapore Air Force, Hewlett Packard, Standard Chartered Bank and Resorts World in a regional capacity.

Meanwhile, IPG Mediabrands recently also appointed Valli Lakshmanan as the head of digital for APAC.  Lakshmanan is based out of Mediabrands’ Singapore office. In this capacity, Lakshmanan works with Mediabrands’ regional clients to drive digital innovation as well as lead Ingenuity hub in Singapore.


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