StarHub and BLKJ part ways, new creative pitch called

StarHub has called for a creative pitch for the Singapore market and has invited incumbent BLKJ to pitch for the account. However, BLKJ is at this point choosing not to participate in the pitch, confirmed Rowena Bhagchandani, CEO of the agency. In a statement to MARKETING-INTERACTIVE, Bhagchandani said: "We thank StarHub for a long and mutually fruitful relationship and for the invitation to pitch. At this point, we have politely declined participation in the pitch. And we wish StarHub all the very best."

Meanwhile, Eva-Lotta Gothe, vice president of brand and marketing communications, StarHub also confirmed the pitch and said it was called to "identify the best creative agency partner" as StarHub's business transformation accelerates to meet the ever-changing market demands. Gothe confirmed that a few agencies have been invited to participate.  “At this point, we can confirm that BLKJ has decided not to take part in this pitching opportunity. We are grateful to BLKJ for an excellent partnership in the past few years and wish them the best in their future endeavours,” she added.

StarHub was one of BLKJ's earliest clients, having worked together since 2018. Prior to that, StarHub was working with DDB for 12 years, which was also where BLKJ's founding members last worked before breaking out to start up their own creative shop. Together BLKJ and StarHub created several high profile campaigns such as "Fastest", "Hello Change" and others. 

Meanwhile, BLKJ has also had an exciting start to 2021 recently being acquired by Havas Group to create BLKJ Havas. Bhagchandani, CEO, BLKJ said Havas Group had aligned visions of what advertising should be like, and also what makes for a contemporary organisation. “The independent creative powerhouses such as BETC, Host, and Buzzman that are now a part of Havas continue to retain its DNA and culture,” she said, adding that BLKJ’s success lies in its culture that helps create work that is relevant, meaningful, and impactful.

Meanwhile, StarHub has also been building up its leadership team. In June 2020, StarHub named Göthe as its as its vice president, brand and marketing communications. In her role, Göthe leads the brand and marketing communications team. She is also responsible for developing and implementing brand, marketing communications, social media, and media strategies to help customers identify with and connect to the StarHub brand better.

In 2018, the company also appointed Johan Buse as chief of consumer business group, where he now leads the consumer business group and is responsible for the development, marketing and delivery of consumer-market mobile. This also includes fixed products, services and pay TV. Buse is a veteran in the telco industry having worked for Ooredoo, Singtel, Deutsche Telekom (T-Mobile) and Axis (STC) previously.

In December last year, StarHub appointed Nikhil Eapen as its new CEO. He was also previously deputy chief executive of parent company ST Telemedia.

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