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DDB Vietnam MD Daniel Gordon Jones moves on after nine years as agency shifts focus

Daniel Gordon JonesDaniel Gordon Jones has moved on from DDB Vietnam after nine years running the agency.

The Brit joined DDB from Bates Vietnam, where he was general manager, in 2007 as managing director. He is moving on to an as yet unannounced regional venture, based in Ho Chi Min City.

His departure comes soon after DDB’s Vietnam operation adopted a change in strategic direction led by Asia CEO David Tang, with a deal with Vietnam Trade Alliance seeing the agency transition from a creative shop into a marketing solutions group. Vietnam is also to become a regional digital outsourcing centre for DDB.

Gordon Jones told Mumbrella today: “After 17 years in Vietnam, 12 of those managing successful agencies, I decided that it was time to try something completely new and grow my experience beyond advertising. Vietnam still being my main base though as it grows in importance within the region.”

When the alliance with VTA was announced in February, Tang said that the network’s clients in Vietnam were “looking for serious marketing solutions, not just pretty ads.”

The new setup sees DDB Vietnam offer digital, e-commerce, shopper marketing, data mining and brand management, and forge closer ties with the network’s regional hub in Singapore.

Tang told Mumbrella: “DDB Vietnam is moving from a small creative shop to a marketing solutions agency for big clients. This partnership with VTA under new CEO Walter Blocker allows DDB to provide a full-service chain of marketing solutions in Vietnam unrivalled by any ad agency.”

DDB has also partnered with realtime interactive 3D firm Rolling Ant in Ho Chi Minh City to establish a digital outsourcing centre for the network.

This, Tang noted, will form part of the network’s T-divisions; digital agency Tribal, shopper marketing unit TracyLocke, portal and e-commerce business Track, and data and CRM offering Tasseologic.

“We’re excited about making two quantum leaps in growing DDB Vietnam and the DDB network,” said Tang, who was appointed to run DDB Asia in September last year, following the retirement of JAPAC boss John Zeigler.

During his time with DDB, Gordon Jones oversaw the transition from local to majority ownership by the Omnicom company, developed a mix of local and foreign talent, and improved the agency’s creative output.

Campaigns of note during his tenure included work for Wonderfarm, Vinamilk, Heineken and, more recently, the relaunch of Saigon Special brand. A poignant Tet campaign for Saigon Special featured a story about a Vietnamese soldier who was the only survivor in his unit of 40 in a battle against the Khymer Rouge.

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