Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Kitty Lun

SHANGHAI, CHINA (March 18, 2015) — Is there a future for big western agencies in China?

We’ve asked this question twice before on “Thoughtful China.” David Wolf, managing director of Allison and Partners’ global China practice, argued the merger of agency networks into big holding companies like WPP, Omnicom, Interpublic Group of Cos. and Publicis Groupe is a poor model for China, given its high growth rate and rapid pace of change.

In a follow-up episode, Aaron Lau, CEO, Greater China at Cheil Worldwide, countered that the issue wasn’t the size of the agency or even the holding company, but whether the organization is investing in innovation.

This week on “Thoughtful China,” Kitty Lun, chairman and CEO of Interpublic’s Lowe China, shares her views about whether western agencies have a long-term future in China and how they should adapt to rising competition from local agencies as well as special firms operating in areas like social media marketing.

“Multinational agencies focused on brands and high-quality creative are diversifying into areas that are not familiar territory and then they are facing competition with all the smaller players. We need to go back to our roots, look at brand-building and come up with strategic consumer insights [and] the idea that drives the business,” Ms. Lun told host Trevor Lai. Thoughtful China Kitty Lun