Havas is launching a new digital agency in China and has hired industry veteran Brendan Tansey as CEO to run it.
The new agency has been named Socialistic China, and will focus on social media applications and creating what Havas called “meaningful social engagement and digital dialog between brands and consumers.”
Tansey’s appointment marks his return to Havas after a five-year stint as CEO of WPP’s Wunderman UK, where he presided over the shop’s expansion. Before that, he was CEO of Havas’ Euro RSCG Australia. Earlier, he held other posts at the global agency network, now known as Havas Worldwide.
David Jones, CEO of Havas, stated: "We are at the dawn of the emergence of the next generation of global brands from China and the wave of social innovation, which will present greater opportunities for Havas and our clients.” Tansey, he added, can make an impact by “creating a world class digital agency.”
Socialistic China is based in Shanghai and opened its doors last week with an initial 20 staffers. Clients include Ivory, Peugeot, Danone, Seagate and Hershey’s.
Tansey stated that China’s “more collective mindset will generate the next wave of the social revolution with platforms like WeChat and Weibo…Combine that with what’s happening economically and the speed of brand evolution and there could be no more exciting place to build a social agency right now.”
Other holding companies also view China as a major growth opportunity and are bulking up on assets there. Last month, Aegis Media -- now part of Dentsu -- bought digital planning and buying shop Beijing Wonder Advertising Co. In January WPP, through its Kantar unit purchased social media agency CIC.