KBS+ Announces Expansion to Asia
KBS, a leading global brand agency, today announced it has formalized its presence in Asia and will open regional headquarters in Shanghai, China in the beginning of the year. KBS has selected Douglas Lin and Jonathan Ip to lead the agency’s offering in Asia after a thorough and lengthy evaluation in the market. The New York headquartered agency is known for delivering bold, market-specific solutions for global clients, and will bring that expertise to Chinese companies looking to expand internationally. KBS, a MDC Partners agency, has offices in New York, London, Los Angeles, Toronto and Montreal.
Lin has been named Partner and CEO, and Ip Partner and CCO of KBS China. The pair will work alongside Lori Senecal, Global Executive Chairman of KBS, to construct the agency’s unique model and craft its presence in the market in a bespoke manner. Appointing Lin and Ip to build the new agency offering is indicative of KBS’s global expansion strategy. Through a series of strategic acquisitions and senior leadership hires, KBS has built a global network of best-in-class agencies that collectively house some of the industry’s most talented thinkers and makers with a culture of entrepreneurship and invention at the core. In August, the agency formed KBS in London to lead the group’s activity in Europe by acquiring a majority stake in Albion—a UK-based integrated marketing agency.
“Our approach to expanding KBS within key global markets has always been rooted in determining the best offering and strategy for the environment at hand. In building a global presence, we have identified world-class partners capable of winning and running global businesses from any location. Douglas and Jon are globally-minded leaders and two of the most respected talents within the region. They are well-known for their entrepreneurial spirit and superb work in Asian markets, making them our ideal partners in helping build KBS China. Together, we are already building KBS China to be a true invention agency – one that is at the forefront of maker culture.”
Douglas Lin joins KBS China with over two decades of experience. Most recently, he was Managing Director of TBWA's Digital Arts Network China and prior to that led BBDO/Proximity China as Managing Director. He started his career in San Francisco with Citron Haligman Bedecarre (AKQA) and then joined McCann Relationship Marketing, where he was responsible for global digital development for Microsoft and AMD. He then moved overseas to Clemenger/AIM Proximity New Zealand to lead the Digital Strategy practice. With a focus on creative innovation to connect with consumers while furthering business objectives, Douglas has worked throughout Asia in both the Singapore and China markets for the past five years.
“The opportunity to lead KBS in China, especially with Jonathan as a partner, is a dream role for me,” Lin said. “The teams, and Lori Senecal in particular, have been extremely supportive in helping us prepare for success. This isn’t a question of simply inserting a foreign agency model into China; that’s been commoditized and done to death. Rather, we are working to advance a more modern marketing approach with our clients in China to help them grow - both domestically and internationally. I don’t think we could have scripted this any better.”
Jon Ip most recently served as Digital Executive Creative Director at Saatchi & Saatchi, Greater China. He brings over 14 years of interactive field experience in the United States, Hong Kong and China, and a devotion to conceptual and innovative interaction experiences across all digital platforms. Prior to Saatchi & Saatchi China, Jon spent a year as Head of Digital Creative at BBDO / Proximity China and four years as Digital Creative Director at Saatchi & Saatchi Guangzhou. Over the course of his career, he has lead digital strategy and initiatives for brands including General Electric, Chivas Regal, Huawei, Nike Basketball and Novartis.
“As China’s consumers evolve, there is an ever growing desire and appetite to experience new things; this changing consumer behavior drives brands and services to innovate,” Ip said. “With invention at the core of KBS’s culture, this is the right timing for us to present innovative marketing solutions and build genuine yet unique connections between brands and consumers here in China.”