WE Communications (WE) announced the acquisitions of award-winning Chinese integrated agency, Red Bridge Communications (Red Bridge), and Singapore-based corporate and financial affairs consultancy, WATATAWA.
Founded in 2009 by Penny Burgess, Red Bridge provides both brand marketing and corporate positioning counsel. The agency also specialises in delivering integrated campaigns to target China’s middle class, and working with challenger brands entering the market.
Merging with WE China, the agency will now be called WE Red Bridge. The combined agency’s clients will include: Aruba, Cargill, Caterpillar, Club Monaco, DFS, Honeywell, Insearch UTS:INSEARCH, Lululemon, TaylorMade / adidasGolf, Melià Hotels International, Roche, Swire, Thomas Cook, Value Retail China & Europe, WeWork and ZTE.
“The merger into WE represents a huge opportunity for us to accelerate our expansion into new sectors and markets within the region. With the increased scale of the combined business, we can deepen our specialist capabilities, particularly in the areas of digital and analytics, and provide our team with greater development opportunities,” said Red Bridge managing partner, Penny Burgess.
WATATAWA was established in 2010 and provides corporate communications, investor relations, financial communications, and issues and crisis management.
The firm’s founders include Bill Rylance, former worldwide vice chairman and regional CEO of a global agency; Simon Pangrazio, also a former regional agency CEO and Bryan Matthews, who has over 35 years of experience in communications consulting and journalism in the Asia Pacific region.
WATATAWA becomes a subsidiary of WE and will continue to operate under its own distinct brand and leadership. The firm will expand its geographic presence regionally into other markets around the world, led by client demand.
Pangrazio will continue to lead the business regionally from Singapore in consultation with WATATAWA’s chairman, Bill Rylance.
London-based Rylance will also take on a parallel role with WE internationally, focused on expanding and deepening the firm’s corporate offering in existing and new markets.
“Becoming part of WE while retaining our brand and core operating philosophy allows us to provide wider integrated solutions to our clients and those of WE Communications,” said WATATAWA managing partner, Simon Pangrazio.
“Red Bridge and WATATAWA deepen our integrated marketing and premium corporate affairs offering across Asia-Pacific,” said Alan VanderMolen, WE president of international. “These additions to our family are first steps in aggressively expanding our global network outside of the US in order to service a growing, global client base.”