Report by David Mayo, chief executive officer, Asia, and Johnny Hornby, chief executive officer
We launched Bates CHI&Partners in 2013 as a joint venture between Bates Asia and CHI & Partners, the UK’s most respected independent agency. It was in answer to a clear need from clients to compete less and collaborate more. We now have 14 offices in nine markets in Asia.
On top of a strong margin performance, 2014 saw the build of our unique open-source collaboration model with growth in three areas: global client development, regional client gains and creativity.
It was a solid year for existing clients with growth across our top 10 clients. And we also started new relationships with Pernod, Ooredoo, Samsung, AXA, BMW, Midea and Eva Air among others.
... our work for Coca-Cola in South Asia was seen over three billion times during the FIFA World Cup
We made key hires in social, data, digital and engagement planning on top of which we acquired Temple – a highly-regarded creative agency in Bangalore – which we integrated into our India business as part of our growth efforts in this key market.
Creatively we had a good year, with work for Pizza Hut in China beating its closest competitor at the peak Chinese New Year selling time. Our client Johnnie Walker recognised us for ‘Digital Best Practice’ globally and our work for Coca-Cola in South Asia was seen over three billion times during the FIFA World Cup.
In terms of our profile and reputation, 2014 saw us collaborate with the Tisch Film School, Marvel and The Marketing Society among many others, while we continued our work with WARC, Cannes Lions, IAS and Portfolio Night. As part of our CMO outreach, we interviewed Larry Hama, Martina Navratilova and Lord Puttnam for our series ‘Creativity through Collaboration’.
In 2015, we will continue to lead the industry discussion in Asia on open source and ‘horizontality’. From this we will build our reputation, our product and our portfolio of skills as key pillars of our five-year plan.