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Chris Chiu: We need to inject the Leo Burnett brand back into the Singapore ad market

Chris ChiuChris Chiu, who is to join Leo Burnett Singapore as chief creative officer in a few months’ time, has said that agency needed to “inject” itself back into the local advertising scene.

Talking to Mumbrella, Chiu said that the agency – which has gone through three creative directors in as many years – needed to be kick-started with a foundation of new business, then start winning awards.

“Let’s kick start the agency and gain some momentum. We need to inject ourselves back into the industry,” he said.

The agency needed for focus on new business, and the work would follow, Chiu said.

“The priority is to win companies that want great work. From there, let’s what we can do,” he said.

“Good clients and good work go hand in hand. Awards will happen; they are our currency. But people aren’t impressed by pretty posters anymore,” he said.

“Singapore has had a strong reputation for creativity in the past, and we want to be part of a push to restore that reputation.”

Leo Burnett has lost key clients UOB and Great Eastern in recent years, but picked up some new business including Allergen and projects for Double A, Lazada, MBT and SkyScanner.

Chiu worked for Leo Burnett for more than decade in three different markets before starting his own venture in Singapore, Ren Partnership, in 2012.

He re-joins the agency in April, and will bring some Ren Partnership clients with him. Over the coming weeks, Chiu will continue to work on Ren Partnership business.

News of the departure of agency MD Josh Grace emerged on Wednesday of this week.

For now, Leo Burnett Singapore is to be run by general manager Rebecca Ang and strategy head Nigel Tribe, with support from APAC boss Jarek Ziebinski. But an executive to fill Grace’s position as MD or CEO is being searched for, Mumbrella understands.

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