Marketing Society Asia boss: We don’t want to be seen as an elitist club for British marketers

Ruth Rowan at Marketing Society launch

Ruth Rowan at Marketing Society Asia launch

The chairman of the Marketing Society of Asia has said that she is “very conscious” of the need to shape the newly launched organisation for Asia marketers.

The Marketing Society launched in the UK more than half a century ago, and officially opened an Asian chapter based out of Hong Kong – its first overseas branch – last night.

The Asian operation is led by the CMO of BT Asia Middle East and Africa Ruth Rowan as chair, and aims to attract 100 founding members, two thirds of which will be brand owners, the rest agencies.

Rowan said that she did not want the Marketing Society of Asia to be known as an elitist club for British marketers.

“We are very conscious of our heritage,” she told Mumbrella at the launch event in the HSBC building in Hong Kong last night.

“We don’t want to be seen as a bunch of British marketers operating in Asia. We know we will have to make the Society relevant to marketers in this region,” she said.

The Marketing Society’s library of content and contacts are mostly British-based, but “such rich content from London has not been shared here [in Asia], and could be of considerable value,” she said, adding that a number of London-based marketers have global roles.

The Marketing Society’s manifesto will remain the same in Asia – to create “bolder marketing leaders” by championing customers, mobilising the organisation and defining the company’s purpose, Rowan said.

“We’re not trying to be an elitist club. We want to drive the marketing community in Asia and create bolder marketers,” she said.

News that the Marketing Society would be launching in Asia emerged in December, with the CEO of Hong Kong ad agency Fluid, Guy Parsonage, as vice chair and marketing consultant Katharine Schafli as director.

The steering committee of the Marketing Society of Asia is as follows:

  • Seraphina Wong, exec. director, marketing communication, UBS
  • Judy Sun, executive manager, branding & programme services, HKJC
  • Erica Kerner, VP, marketing and communications, Asia Pacific, Tiffany & Co
  • Adam O’Conor, CEO, Ogilvy & Mather Hong Kong
  • Tricia Weener, Head of Marketing, HSBC Asia, Business & Investment Banking, HSBC
  • King Leung, CEO, Clix Ltd
  • Laura Crampton, MD, brand and communication, Fedex
  • Sue McCusker, CEO, Publicis Hong Kong
  • Katharine Schafli, director
  • Guy Parsonage, CEO, Fluid (vice chair)
  • Ruth Rowan, CMO, BT Asia (chair)

Events and content-sharing will be the focus on the Marketing Society, which costs HK$2,800 to join.


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