‘China lacks the soft power needed to export its brands’

Tom Doctoff talking at the Ad Summit Pilipinas today

Tom Doctoff talking at the Ad Summit Pilipinas today

China’s aggressive political manoeuvring in Southeast Asia will hinder its ability to export its brands to developing markets such as the Philippines, JWT’s Shanghai-based regional CEO Tom Doctoroff suggested today at the Ad Summit Pilipinas in Subic.

“China does not have soft power. It has hard power,” he told Mumbrella today. “My feeling is that China will have to work a lot harder to export its brands than other markets such as Korea and Japan [because of its military and political stance].

Doctoroff added that part of the problem is that China lacks an entertainment industry like Korea’s, which has paved the way for the export of Korean brands through phenomena such as K-Pop and Korean dramas.

“China needs a fundamental entertainment industry not driven by censorship but by markets,” he said.

Even so, China is nowhere near ready to export its brands to developed markets, Doctoroff said.

“China knows its strengths and weaknesses. It’s inability to export its brands is a problem Western markets think more about than Chinese,” he said.


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