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Publicis set to expand Le Pub in Singapore and Mexico City with new hires


By Sam Bradley, Journalist

March 9, 2023 | 7 min read

Le Pub is growing in Asia Pacific and Latin America, as it makes a string of leadership appointments.


Le Pub is expanding in Singapore, with the hires of Cyril Lewis and Hanh Kanssen / Le Pub/Publicis

Publicis creative agency Le Pub is expanding its hubs, with growth in Mexico and Singapore being bolstered with a spread of new hires in Europe, the Americas and Asia Pacific.

The agency has announced six global appointments in Amsterdam and Milan, and a further four at its Singaporean and Mexico businesses, as it hopes to capitalize on economic trends to expand its business.

Hanh Kanssen, general manager, and executive creative director Cyril Louis have been charged with leading the agency’s Singapore operations and building its business with local brand Tiger Beer. Another duo – general manager Almudena Blanco and chief creative officer Federico Russi – are set to lead in Mexico, a key market for Heineken brand Tecate.

According to Kanssen, the lifting of Covid restrictions in China should help the agency’s Asia Pacific operations grow swiftly. “It’s encouraging to see early signs of consumption are back on track for some clients, especially in the beer category. However, we still need to be strategic with our priorities for our clients,” says Kanssen.

“Le Pub, with our unique creative offering that helps brands to find a seat at the table of culture, is an effective way to build brands and deliver a recognizable impact when it comes to our client’s business results. Since 2022, when Le Pub APAC was set up, we have focused on setting the right foundations, which means having the right talents for our creative ambition and elevating creativity for our foundation clients in the region. Now I am excited to see our positive impacts travel further in the region.”

Kanssen and Louis plan to make further hires in the region, particularly with the aim of building Le Pub’s account with Tiger, she says. “[Louis] and I will continue to handpick talents with diverse backgrounds, enabling us to create innovative work that resonates in culture.

“Tiger Beer is already one of Asia’s top brands globally, it has huge creative ambitions – and that needs a lot of diversity in our thinking. When marketing in Asia, with so many different languages and customs, Le Pub’s Data & Cultural Lab will be an amazing springboard for creativity.”

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Le Pub was originally set up in the Netherlands by Publicis Groupe in 2020 to service Heineken, one of the French holding company’s flagship clients. Since then, it’s taken on further clients including Bottega Veneta, Lavazza, Netflix, Renault and pasta-maker Barilla.

Bruno Bertelli, global chief executive officer of Le Pub, tells The Drum: “We are uniquely positioned to drive new levels of creativity, inventiveness, and collaboration for our clients by creating cultural resonance to be relevant and topical in each local market as well as at a global scale.”

Le Pub established its ‘hubs’ in Mexico City, Singapore, Shanghai and Cape Town last summer. The new hires mark a further investment in those markets, as it aims to compete with established domestic agencies.

“The competition between companies across Mexico to distinguish themselves and grow their businesses is higher than ever before. It is no news that it keeps getting harder to stay competitive, and advertisers understand the need to innovate,” says Blanco.

“There is a perception in the market that, although independents tend to have a fresh point of view, they lack structure and expertise. With Le Pub, we aim to provide both sides of the equation— to fill a gap in the market.”

A growing consumer economy in the country is creating opportunities for agency businesses, he says. “Mexico’s middle class is expanding, which means there is a larger market for consumer goods and services. Also, and mainly driven by the pandemic, many companies have joined the digital transformation with more people than ever before using smartphones and accessing the internet.

“This has led to an increase in digital advertising, consumers shopping online for the very first time and an increase in the popularity of social media platforms with millions of monetizable daily active users that allows advertisers to target consumers with more precision and measure the effectiveness of their campaigns,” he notes. “Advertisers can effectively leverage these trends, but they need a partner that is able to translate them into ideas that people want to talk about and are ingrained in popular culture.”

Blanco hopes to add to the agency’s recent Tecate win by expanding its roster further. “What comes next is partnering with advertisers looking to become more culturally relevant and separate from old and outdated models. We want brave clients who are willing to walk the path less traveled with us,” he says.

Bertellli, who is also chief creative officer of Publicis Worldwide and Publicis Italy, adds: “We are confident these talents will provide diverse and valuable perspectives as we continue to execute our distinctive strategy, drive organic growth, and further accelerate the strength and momentum of creative excellence. Le Pub’s new agency model has a systematic data-driven approach that uses brand behavior to drive business growth across complex ecosystems.”

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