On-site agency specialist Oliver hires former Tag production duo as it builds Far East presence


Go-go in-house agency provider Oliver – which provides on-site agencies for a number of big clients including AXA, Starbucks and KPMG – is expanding into the Far East with the launch of a new hub in Singapore.

Oliver has recruited Nick George, managing director of Tag Asia for nearly ten years, to head the new operation. He will be joined by Geri Tay, also formerly of rival Tag, as regional business and operations director.

Oliver, which former Tag CEO Steve Parish is expected to join imminently, is based in London and places creative teams, including strategists, creative technologists, web builders, designers and writers, within client companies. The Asia move follows Oliver’s recent venture into the US, where it located a team for Britvic in Miami, as part of the British soft drinks company expansion in North America.

Simon Martin2Simon Martin (left), Oliver founder and chief executive Simon Martin says: “We have demand for our services from Asian companies as well as clients in Europe who can see the benefit of what we can do for their in-country operations.”

New boy Nick George says: “The Oliver model of enabling clients to have a team adapted to their requirements, and scalable to fit changing marketing directions, is appealing regardless which part of the world you are in. But we argue the model applies more so in Asia, where cultures are more diverse in language and consumer behaviour, which demands either local creative or cleverly adapted work that touches local audiences.

“We still have western brands entering into the Asia markets and whom, by default, seem to launch from either Singapore or Hong Kong. However Singapore, followed closely by Hong Kong, is just the start for us. We aim to have geographical presence to support all of our clients in whichever markets they operate.”

In-house agencies do, indeed, seem to be a growing trend with estimates that 13 per cent of UK advertisers have some such arrangement. Moneysupermarket.com recently announced it was taking digital advertising in-house and Specsavers has done all its work in-house for some years now. Jaguar uses London agency Spark44, in which it has a 50 per cent stake, and, in the US, Hyundai uses in-house agency Innocean.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.

One comment

  1. Far East is a colonial expression for what is today known as Asia-Pacific region. It is considered politically incorrect.