Blue 449 wins media planning account with Alibaba in China

Alibaba Group has named Publicis Media agency Blue 449 as its media agency for mainland China.

Agencies from Dentsu Aegis Network and GroupM are understood to have competed against Publicis Media for the account.

Marking the first time the e-commerce giant has officially appointed a media planning agency, the partnership will cover traditional and digital media for Alibaba and its subsidiaries, including Tmall, Taobao and Youku.  Together, Taobao and  Tmall each feature nearly a billion products and both are among the 20 most-visited websites globally.

Blue 449 has already carried out a branding campaign for Tmall, Tmall, Youko and also for messaging app Dingding, plus an additional event and product launch.

Alibaba is also the owner of the South China Morning Post, after buying the company and its assets for US$266 million in December 2015.

The agency formerly known as Optimedia | Blue 449 has been carrying out work for Alibaba since May this year.

“Our team demonstrated Blue 449’s Open Source approach which is people-oriented, collaborative, and ripe with possibilities. We look forward to collaborating on more progressive and effective solutions to deliver on Alibaba’s business goals and the E-commerce space,” said Vivian Zhu, chief executive officer for Blue 449 mainland China.

“The Blue449 team always provides a strong support to our media strategy with their specialised knowledge, smart performance and Open Source capabilities.” said Mary Zhou, head of media at Alibaba Group.

The win came in following a troubled period for sister Publicis Media agency Zenith, which recently lost the Asia-Pacific account for LVMH to GroupM. 

Alibaba rival Amazon recently appointed MEC as its media agency for mainland China and has since put its global account out for pitch, putting the incumbent Initiative through a period of uncertainty.


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