Haymarket Asia head of digital launches brand content venture

Hashtag Content Ian PayntonThe former head of digital at Haymarket Asia has started his own brand content consultancy.

Ian Paynton, who moved from Singapore, where he was publishing manager for Stuff and FourFourTwo, into the digital lead role in Hong Kong in March last year, has relocated to Vietnam to start the business.

Paynton’s new venture, called Hashtag Content, aims to “help brands, agencies and businesses do content in Asia,” and is working with network of partners including Outbrain, Adarra Pictures, Mott Visuals as well as his former employer.

On why he’s starting the company, Paynton says: “Because everyone in marketing is now being faced with the same challenge: doing content well. But not every one can, or should be expected to. It’s a full-time thing that requires a range of skills and experience. So with the Hashtag Content website, it’s me saying: “hey, over here: I’m the guy to help you with that” to businesses, brands and agencies of all sizes.”

On the model, he explained: “What I think is unique is that I work exclusively on a business’s content strategy, on a project-by-project or long term basis. Marketing directors can leave it to me to do the thinking, all the working out, the joining up and the pitching. Should clients need production and distribution help too, I collaborate with my network of creatives, publishers and tech companies throughout Asia, as well as a go-to creative house in Vietnam. This is where I can do non-location-specific production, such as web dev, copywriting, design, studio photography, etc. It’s a collaborative but cost effective method of content production.”

Paynton, who started his own agency previously in Vietnam before joining Haymarket, left the company soon after the departure of Nikki Wicks, Campaign Asia’s head of content, who has also started up his own content venture, Elephant Inc.

Paynton started out as a journalist and copywriter, and worked in custom publishing for Haymarket on the London 2012 Olympics publications before joining the launch team of the company’s consumer division in Asia, which birthed and

Journalists appear to be increasingly moving into content roles, rather than taking the traditional route of moving into PR.

Former Campaign reporter Sophie Chen and ex-Marketing Magazine deputy editor Elizabeth Low both recently joined content marketing agency King Content.

Many of the major advertising and media agencies in Asia have former Campaign or Marketing journalists handling their PR. Former Marketing editor Deepa Balji runs comms for Starcom, while former Campaign journalists Magz Osbourne, Asiya Bakht, Benjamin Li and Kate Nicholson now work in PR roles at Y&R, Havas, Grey and DDB, respectively.


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