DDB Worldwide has announced that Amir Kassaei, chief creative officer, will be establishing DDB’s global creative centre in Shanghai. It is said to be a move reinforcing DDB's ongoing commitment and investment into the Asian region, and is believed to be the first time a global Madison Avenue agency has moved its creative headquarters to China.
This move complementsthe relocation of John Zeigler, chairman and chief executive officer of DDB Group Asia Pacific, India & Japan, to Singapore in December, 2011. Patrick Rona, former president of Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) for Tribal DDB Worldwide and chief digital officer for DDB Group EMEA, who is now Tribal DDB Asia Pacific’s new President and chief digital officer for DDB Group Asia Pacific, also moved to Singapore in January of this year.
Zeigler said, "We're very honoured to have our global creative centre in Asia. World-class brands are moving here and they deserve world-class creative they have become accustomed to. Amir, with our top creative talent across the region, will deliver just this. I'm sure of it."
He added, “DDB Group Asia Pacific now has three core regional hubs – Hong Kong, Singapore and Shanghai. Amir’s move makes China the centre piece for our global creative work.”
Chuck Brymer, chief executive officer, DDB Worldwide, said, “This is one of the most significant moves we have made in the history of DDB. The world as we know it is changing and our industry's growth market is now without doubt the Asian region. Move over New York, London, Paris. Hello Shanghai, Mumbai, Singapore. With this in mind, there's no time better to set up our creative powerhouse in China.”
Speaking to the Campaign APAC team, Kassaei said that his role will essentially remain unchanged, but that the development signals a refocusing of the whole DDB organisation. “If you want to progress and be at the forefront of the industry, you have to send signals,” he said. “This is not to say that other regions are losing importance, but it is a clear sign of how we believe the world and the industry will develop over the next few years.”
"The region’s potential for growth is not just in terms of business, but also in achieving new levels of creativity," he said.