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Experiential agency Imagination to close Hong Kong office

Brand experience agency Imagination is to close its base in Hong Kong as part of a bid to consolidate its business into mainland China.

The London-founded independent agency told its 30 staff members this week that the office will officially close by next April.

The move comes as part of a significant shift of clients away from Hong Kong to Shanghai over the last four years. 

Imagination China’s managing director Alistair Wilson confirmed that the agency is currently discussing relocation and potential layoffs of the Hong Kong workforce.

He said: “We anticipate that between eight-to-10 staff remaining in Hong Kong until April 2018 to ensure smooth transition of our work to our Shanghai regional hub, reducing from a current team size of 30 people.

“The pivot to mainland China isn’t new; many creative agencies have already made this move. We remain very proud of the work our Hong Kong team has delivered over the past 17 years, but the time is right to consolidate into our thriving and growing Shanghai hub.”

He added: “Hong Kong still has a lot to offer; it’s an incredible city for creativity, and we look forward to continuing to service HK from Shanghai as we make the smooth transition over the next 10 months.”

First opened in 2000, the Hong Kong office has been led by managing director Chris Dobson since September 2015, while the company’s creative output has been led by former TBWA employees, Lincoln Damen and Mike Choy, who hold the roles of regional creative director and associate creative director respectively.

Meanwhile, the Shanghai hub first opened in 2009, following the Beijing Olympics, and its team of 90 people is led by Wilson. The Chinese agency counts Jaguar Land Rover, Ford and Lincoln on its client roster.

Earlier this year, the agency was responsible for creating Jaguar’s Loop-the-Loop stunt in Shanghai.

Famous mostly for producing Sydney’s globally renowned New Year’s Eve show, Imagination recently created the multi-million-dollar Spectra light and water show at Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands.

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