Nicola Yates McCann UM Cathay Pacific

Yates to replace Doris Kuok on McCann’s Cathay Pacific team

McCann Worldgroup Hong Kong has appointed Nicola Yates as Cathay Pacific Central Team’s head of integrated channel planning.

Yates joins from ZenithOptimedia where she held the role of regional digital director for Kering Luxury and Lifestyle brands across Asia Pacific.

She replaces Doris Kuok, who was appointed head of media for the Cathay Pacific Central Team in April last year.

In a statement, the agency said Yates will lead global media operations for the Cathay Pacific, Dragonair and Asia Miles brands. Her duties will also reach into online and offline planning and buying, paid search, social media, data analytics and audience research.

She joins at an interesting time for the Cathay Pacific business, which in recent years has been split off and handed to agencies outside McCann’s dedicated Cathay Pacific Team.

In November last year the airline awarded a multi-year brand experience redesign for Cathay Pacific Airways globally to independent branding firm Eight Partnership.

Earlier this month Cathay Pacific named DigitasLBi as its global digital agency of record following a pitch.

DigitasLBi has already set up a large team in Hong Kong to manage Cathay’s web and mobile optimisations, including user experience, e-commerce, creative and functionality on the two main platforms.


The airline is also believed to be scouring the PR industry for an agency to manage its global crisis communications in the wake of Malaysia Airlines MH370 and MH170 disasters.

Despite this, Brandon Cheung, appointed managing partner of the Cathay Pacific Central Team in February this year, said the partnership continues to grow.

“Our partnership with Cathay Pacific continues to grow and evolve to meet the changing media landscape in our 33 outports of operation,” he said in yesterday’s statement.

“We are constantly looking for new ways to drive effectiveness in content distribution across paid, owned, and earned media.”

In late May, Cathay announced Dane Cheng would replace James Ginns as director of sales and marketing, responsible for all sales and marketing activities worldwide for both Cathay Pacific and Dragonair.

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