Features

10 questions for Omnicom Media Group’s new APAC CEO Cheuk Chiang

Cheuk ChiangCheuk Chiang took over from Barry Cupples as the APAC CEO of Omnicom Media Group recently, having run OMG media brand PHD for close to five years.

In this Q&A, the popular Melburnian talks to Mumbrella Asia editor Robin Hicks about who he thinks are Asia’s most powerful media people, his media habits and why he’d hire Mark Zuckerberg.

Who is the most powerful person in Asia Pacific’s media scene?

When you consider that close to 600m of the world’s 1.4bn social networkers reside in China, it’s the owners of social network sites like QZone, Tencent, Sina, Pengyou, RenRen who are hugely powerful.

But I would say that the most powerful person in Asia Pacific’s ad scene is really YOU (the individual) as a social networker and independent media owner. As a social networker, you now have the power to make or break brands and even overthrow governments, with a click of mouse. You have the power to control the speed of influence and move quickly to change sentiment and influence others. With an audience of around 780m people, Asia Pacific has the largest social network user base on the planet. That’s 780 million powerful people.

What is the biggest story in media in APAC at the moment?

There really isn’t one big story at the moment. But the biggest thing impacting the industry is how marketers and agencies are managing and making sense of the huge amount of data they have available. Some are drowning in a sea of data whilst others are using technology to help them dig out gold (insights).

For us, the big story is OMD Australia winning The Media Agency of Year in Cannes. So well deserved for a talented team who continue to push the boundaries of innovation.

What are your media consumption habits?
I’m a big fan of screens. I’m a big mobile and tablet user and will look at various sources of information and entertainment from the Huffington Post, Harvard Business Review, TED, Facebook, Youtube, Spotify, LinkedIn and (of course) Mumbrella. I’ll often do this whilst watching a show on cable TV where I tune into everything from CNN, CNBC, BBC, Discovery, E News, Bio and MTV.

Which media agency do you fear the most in pitches?
It’s probably more about having a healthy respect rather than fear for most of the top agencies.

If you could hire one person, who would it be?
Mark Zuckerberg [the Facebook founder]. I’d love to know where he thinks the future of media is heading.

What is your favourite ad?
I love the Dove Sketches campaign. It’s really insightful and promotes a great cause around making women reassess what the perception of beauty really is.

If you weren’t in media for a living, what would you be doing?
I’d be a chef (and a very creative one).

Media agencies often struggle to brand themselves in a fairly homogenous market. What’s the secret to standing out?
Have a unique culture that you live and breathe every day (not just promote in words).

If you could change one thing about media right now, what would it be?
Having less of a focus on media savings (that should be a given) and a greater focus on what drives a greater return – that’s through driving innovation.

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