Global creative agency Huge has pulled out of Singapore and Japan. The move was confirmed to MARKETING-INTERACTIVE by the IPG owned agency.
According to sources close to MARKETING-INTERACTIVE, the process began last year in November.
MARKETING-INTERACTIVE understands that there were approximately 30 staff members in Singapore and less than 10 in Japan that were impacted by the process. Several staff members were also absorbed into work for the Vietnam office, which is servicing Asia markets, and being grown into a tech hub, said the sources.
Several ex-employees of Huge told MARKETING-INTERACTIVE that staff were informed that they would be let go in a short conference call in mid-November that was led by Mat Baxter, the agency’s global CEO. Following the call that involved both the Singapore and Japan teams, meetings were scheduled with the global human resource team to guide outgoing staff on next steps.
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When MARKETING-INTERACTIVE reached out to Huge, the company affirmed that they were recalibrating its APAC strategy to focus more on technology talent as part of a global technology delivery capability across North America, LATAM, and APAC. “This involved reducing our footprint in Singapore and Tokyo and increasing our technology presence elsewhere in the region,” said Jason Schlossberg, the global head of marketing. He added that the staff impacted by the decision represented less than two percent of its total workforce.
“Thanks to our new global strategy and recent business shifts, we remain committed to, and capable of, serving global clients wherever we are needed, including APAC,” he continued.
The APAC region was previously run by global president Martin Riley who led the team from 2014 until its closure last year. Riley is an experiencing brand manager with over 13 years of experience building market presence and growing revenues for clients such as Proctor & Gamble, Emirates Airlines, Ritz Carlton, J.M. Smucker and Cadbury. Before Huge, Riley worked as a regional account director at Saatchi & Saatchi Singapore. He worked in the company for just under 12 years. Riley could not be reached at the time of writing.
Most recently, the Huge brand made its way into the Australia market. The Australia office will be led by Ben Skelsey as its managing director. Skelsey has worked at Huge for three years and previously led the Singapore office as general manager.
"Whilst Huge remains present in APAC, it is focusing on clients in Australia having already had local market success," said Skelsey when MARKETING-INTERACTIVE reached out. "Our global model - which is fully remote - means that we continue to service clients wherever they are, including across Asia and the wider global world as need be. Our model means teams are handpicked based on what's best for the client, ensuring they always get the best of Huge no matter where they are."
Before Huge, Skelsey spent just over six years at Ogilvy where he took on roles such as managing partner for Ogilvy UK and international business director for OgilvyOne Worldwide.
In a release, Huge added that they have also embraced hybrid and remote working. "[They are] shedding its offices and instead re-organising and networking its entire organisation, which allows the company to bring the best global talent based on clients' unique needs," it read.
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