In this weekly segment, ExchangeWire sums up key industry updates on ad tech from around the Asia-Pacific region – and in this edition: ZenithOptimedia buys out Australia’s FirstClick; ZenithOptimedia to set up Singapore analytics hub; IAB to hold programmatic workshops in Jakarta & KL; Nielsen brings mobile ad ratings to Australia; CtrlShift appointed exclusive Microsoft ad partner in Southeast Asian markets; and MediaCom gets new APAC programmatic head.

ZenithOptimedia buys out Australia’s FirstClick

Publicis Groupe’s ZenithOptimedia says it has acquired Sydney-based performance marketing agency, FirstClick Consulting.

The latter will be subsumed under ZenithOptimedia’s own performance marketing network Performics Worldwide, and be rebranded to Performics Australia. FirstClick’s current management team will be retained, including CEO Grace Chu, who also will be part of Performics’ global executive leadership team.

Founded in 2005, FirstClick offers a range of digital performance marketing services such as programmatic buying, marketing analytics, and conversion rate optimisation.

Performics Worldwide CEO Michael Kahn said the acquisition offered its Australian clients a “combination of global best practice and strong local knowledge” in performance marketing, placing the group in a good position to tap a growing opportunity Down Under.

ZenithOptimedia to set up Singapore analytics hub

In a separate announcement, ZenithOptimedia also unveiled plans to establish its first Asia analytics and technology hub in Singapore.

The facility will be supported by a team of 45, comprising domain specialists who will develop customised offerings for its customers in the Asia-Pacific region. It also will focus on emerging market segments such as mobile as well as social and text analytics.

ZenithOptimedia Asia-Pacific Chairman Gerry Boyle

The agency’s Asia-Pacific chairman Gerry Boyle said: “This initiative recognises the increasing importance of creating Asia-specific data and technology solutions. It is a major step in driving future readiness and growth for ZenithOptimedia.”

Boyle added that Singapore’s Economic Development Board (EDB), among other local government agencies, had provided support for the new hub.

EDB’s assistant managing director Kelvin Wong said: “Given the increasing data-centricity of marketing, as well as the number of devices, channels, and platforms available to reach consumers, brands are looking to their partners for specialised expertise to plan, create and manage innovative solutions for the region.

“Today, 80% of digital work done in Singapore is regional in nature, and ZenithOptimedia’s hub will grow Singapore’s position as the digital marketing hub of Asia,” Wong added.

ZenithOptimedia Chief Information Officer Harpreet Kaintel said he would be looking to hire locals and permanent residents across the domains of new media, technology, and analytics.

IAB to hold programmatic workshops in Jakarta & KL

IAB Singapore will be bringing its training series for the first time to Indonesia and Malaysia, partnering with the Indonesian Digital Association (IDA) and Malaysian Digital Association (MDA) to offer industry guidelines and standards to the two markets.

It will kickstart the new collaboration with a programmatic training workshop to be held in Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur on October 27 and October 29, respectively. The half-day sessions will look to break down industry acronyms and help local attendees understand the ecosystem.

Industry experts will offer insights on important ad tech components and explain the roles of brands, publishers, and agencies. The Malaysia leg, for instance, will feature Nestle’s marketing and ad executive Khairul Syahar Khalid, who will share his advice on preparing traditional media businesses for the digital space.

MediaCom gets new APAC programmatic head

The media agency has appointed Matt Ware into a newly created role as Asia-Pacific head of programmatic.

Based in Singapore, Ware is responsible for building MediaCom’s capabilities across the region, as well as working with local and regional teams to roll out programmatic solutions.

He reports to chief investment officer, Matthew Wigham, who said in a statement: “Ware has a vast amount of global digital experience and will help deliver significant value for our clients in the programmatic space.” Wigham added that the Asia-Pacific region was an “increasingly important” focus for MediaCom customers.

Ware has more than a decade’s worth of experience in digital and programmatic, and was previously Asia-Pacific commercial director for MediaMath.

Nielsen brings mobile ad ratings to Australia

The market researcher has expanded its mobile campaign measurement tool to six new markets, including Australia, France, and Italy.

Mobile metrics for Nielsen’s Digital Ad Ratings will also be available in Brazil by the end of the year, according to Nielsen, which said agencies and ad platforms would be able access a “total digital view” of audiences across desktops, smartphones, and tablets. “This will allow for a clearer picture of how online and mobile interact together and independently, in a way comparable to TV,” it said.

Nielsen’s executive vice president of global watch product leadership, Megan Clarken, said: “We have enabled the marketplace to transact on media with the highest quality, independent, apples-to-apples metrics across all devices. Adding mobile measurement to Digital Ad Ratings allows us to bring this same level of comparability to more markets, enabling a deeper understanding of campaign effectiveness.”

The mobile offering measures ads, including video and display, for Apple iOS and Google Android platforms, Nielsen added.

CtrlShift appointed exclusive Microsoft ad partner

The digital marketer has inked a deal as Microsoft’s exclusive ad sales partner in Singapore, Thailand, and the Philippines. The agreement extends their existing relationship in Malaysia, which was first established in 2014.

Under the new deal, CtrlShift said it would provide inventory across Microsoft’s devices and platforms including MSN, Skype, Windows, Windows Ads-in-Apps, and Outlook.com, to advertisers in the four Southeast Asian markets.

CtrlShift also would deliver programmatic buying to brands via the Microsoft Advertising Exchange (MAX), which is powered by RTB marketplace AppNexus.

CtrlShift’s head of business consulting, Ong Sea Yen, said in the statement: “This is a great opportunity for CtrlShift to grow its digital advertising business in tandem with Microsoft in Singapore, Thailand, and the Philippines. We foresee strong growth in the reserved and programmatic buying space across Microsoft’s platforms and device.”

Ong added that advertisers in the three markets were looking for stronger digital presence and moving more of their traditional media budgets towards online brand-building activities.

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