MullenLowe merges creative and digital in China with Richard Tan at helm

Profero Hong Kong

Following the restructure of its leadership in Vietnam, MullenLowe Group has carried out another shake-up in Asia by merging its creative and digital agencies in China.

The IPG-owned network is to integrate the creative agency MullenLowe with its digital arm MullenLowe Profero, creating a 230-person organisation led by former DDB China chief executive officer Richard Tan.

The two brands will retain their identities, but will be run under one P&L, Mumbrella Asia understands.

Tan will assume the role of CEO for MullenLowe Group China, leading the offices in Shanghai, Beijing and Chengdu. He will report to Vincent Digonnet, the CEO of MullenLowe Group, North Asia, and CEO MullenLowe Profero, APAC.

A spokesperson for MullenLowe Group said the network had "no plans" to make any layoffs during the course of the merger.

However, MullenLowe China's chief planning officer, Baiping Shen, will leave the agency after nine years.

Fanny Yum will continue in her role as CEO MullenLowe China, while MullenLowe Profero will remain under the joint leadership of Brian Leong and Alessandro Grena, managing directors for Shanghai and Beijing respectively.

Tan said: "MullenLowe Group exists in essence to give our clients an unfair share of attention. Having spent two decades in this market, I understand that China requires a totally nuanced approach, so the consolidation of our China operations is about accelerating the growth of a business which is able to deliver both world-class creativity and transformative solutions for our clients."

The China shake-up comes a month  after MullenLowe Vietnam announced it was moving its leadership to Singapore. The move led to the departure of MullenLowe Vietnam chief executive officer Michel Borelli and  executive creative director Adrian McNamara shortly afterwards.

The changes come as MullenLowe APAC adopts its US counterpart's "hyper-bundled" model of operation, which integrates all its capabilities into one P&L.