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‘We’ve planted a jungle on the grave of the agency model’: Vice creative agency opens in Singapore

Vice creative agency, Virtue, has formally launched in Asia Pacific region with the opening of offices in Singapore and Seoul.

It will be led by Aaron Pearce, former client services director at Octagon in Singapore.

Together with a new office in Sydney, the Virtue operations in Singapore and Seoul will operate across Asia Pacific.

On his LinkedIn profile, Pearce says: “Rather than try and fix the agency model, we’ve planted a jungle on its grave. Our DIY punk roots, empathy, and irreverent sense of style breeds work that’s as important as it is attractive.”

In a statement announcing the launch, Pearce, in his new role as managing director for Virtue, Asia Pacific, said: “The first things we ask our clients is who they want to reach, and what they want to stand for and everything after that point is crafting.

Aaron Pearce

“We know that the division between brandland and culture is no more, people expect the same feeling from brand content as they do from their favorite film, or track — it has to be authentic, multi-dimensional, and entertaining — that’s the best way to introduce value exchange.”

Virtue has named former Y&R NY and Havas New York creative Alex Koo as creative director in Seoul, with the office led by managing director Daniel Kang. Rich Lim has also joined as creative strategist.

Meanwhile, Sacha Bury has been appointed senior regional strategist in Singapore.

“There is a violent collision happening between entertainment and advertising, and there is no place where that is happening at a faster pace and more unique way than in Asia,” Koo said.

“This is the moment where brands have to make their mark, to define what their style is, and own it. I’m excited to be joining Virtue’s expansion in Asia, as we take on this next chapter and push what it means to be a brand.”

Vice said its creative operation has already made inroads in several Asia markets including Japan, China, India, Indonesia, Philippines and Korea. It listed Anheuser-Busch InBev (ABI), multiple Unilever brands, Pernod Ricard, lululemon, Coach, Asics and GSK as among its clients.

Vice Asia Pacific chief executive Hosi Simon said: “Expanding Virtue in Asia has been a key focus for Vice’s plan for 2018, and after simply getting on with actual work, we’re excited to formally launch Virtue across Asia.

“We’re leveraging Vice’s years of experience in the region – our unique content and insights and unwavering dedication to deeply locally and globally relevant stories, helps our partners break through in this rapidly shapeshifting part of the world.”

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