TBWA Asia president distances agency from top creative’s view on Singapore Tourism marketing


Philip Brett: We regret the comments made by Edmund Choe

TBWA Group Asia president Philip Brett has distanced the agency from observations made by its regional chief creative officer Edmund Choe that some of Singapore Tourism Board’s previous marketing has lacked vision.

Choe has also issued a statement saying he is “deeply regretful” for sharing what were “personal views” of STB’s marketing.

He said it was not his intention to “impugn Singapore Tourism Board’s efforts or the efforts of their previous agencies”.

Speaking to Mumbrella Asia in a Q&A this week ahead of starting work on the tourism account tomorrow, Choe suggested STB’s marketing needs to be more focused.

But the remarks clearly riled the STB on the eve of its working relationship with the agency.

It prompted a response from Brett who, in a move to smooth relations with its new client, stressed the views of its creative boss “do not represent the views of TBWA in any way”.

He praised the STB for “elevating Singapore’s reputation and image globally” and stressed TBWA was “completely committed” to the challenge set down by Singapore tourism of “breaking category conventions”.

Brett’s statement in full issued to Mumbrella Asia reads:

We have read the articles published online yesterday titled: ‘Q&A with TBWA\Singapore CCO’ and Singapore tourism needs more vision’, which provide a perspective on Singapore Tourism Board’s vision in relation to previous marketing communications.

We regret the comments made by Edmund Choe regarding the Singapore Tourism Board. They were provided in a personal capacity and do not represent the views of TBWA\ in any way.

Singapore Tourism Board has an extensive portfolio of successful initiatives that have been instrumental in elevating Singapore’s reputation and image globally.

The agency officially begins working on the Singapore Tourism Board account on April 1, 2016, and we are very proud to have Singapore Tourism Board as a client. They have challenged us to deliver a communication strategy that is aimed at breaking the category conventions.  We look forward to working on this challenge with them to position Singapore as a compelling destination.

As a global network, we are completely committed to our partnership with Singapore Tourism Board and developing communication that continues to amplify and shape the norms of destination marketing.


Choe: no intention to impugn STB efforts

Choe, in his statement, said his intention was to “reiterate how proud” TBWA was to work with STB.

Choe’s statement in full:

Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has played an instrumental role in boosting Singapore’s reputation and image on the global stage.

I am deeply regretful for publicly sharing my personal views on Singapore Tourism Board’s previous work, which resulted in my own perspective being published online (March 30, 2016)

It was not my intention to impugn Singapore Tourism Board’s efforts or the efforts of their previous agencies, but rather reiterate how proud we are to be given the opportunity to partner with Singapore Tourism Board to create new possibilities for their destination brand.


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