Industry veteran Tay Guan Hin joins BBDO SG as creative chief

BBDO Singapore has named Tay Guan Hin chief creative officer to lead the creative team from the region's headquarters. He joins MD of BBDO Singapore Nick Morrell and head of strategy at BBDO Asia Andy Wilson who together, will leverage the potential of the network both locally and regionally. 

For the last two years, Tay headed creative at TGH Collective, an independent agency he founded. Prior to that, he was creative change catalyst at APAC Global Advisory for over a year, according to his LinkedIn, joining shortly after he left J. Walter Thompson (JWT) in 2018 as regional ECD Southeast Asia. Tay was with JWT for 13 years and before that, worked at Grey, Leo Burnett and Saatchi & Saatchi. Tay has over 28 years of advertising experience in Asia Pacific, solving business challenges with his creative work.

In a statement to Marketing, Tay said effective digital transformation is no longer a matter of luxury but survival. The real challenge is not just the technology but having the mindset to make the pivot towards the new normal.

According to Tay, agencies need to stay ahead of the curve by staying agile, connected, and adaptable. Client and agency interactions have altered, Zoom and other video conferencing platforms provide the agility to meet and get things done. He added:

Breaking down red tape and layers will allow greater transparency for tomorrow's agency to move faster and more efficiently.

"Consumer's behaviour has changed, so must we. Agencies need to stay connected with new social and cultural behaviours to respond quickly. By staying adaptable, we need to adopt new skills or practices that we might not be comfortable with and swiftly adapt ourselves to market needs and thrive in a continually changing landscape," he explained.

Tay also added that while everyone is returning to work, he is looking ahead to "Forward The Work". 

"While I enjoyed my journey in TGH Collective, joining one of the most creative networks in the world is not an opportunity to be missed. I'm excited to start a new narrative. To create innovative solutions that will solve the client's business effectively through the strength of BBDO Asia's network by being a member of their Creative Council," he said.

According to the agency, he joins at a critical time, with huge growth potential as businesses begin to reopen in Singapore, as they implement Phase 2 following the circuit breaker. The agency add that it is focusing on the future of "The Work. The Work. The Work." and embracing the opportunities of the new normal.

Morrell said he is absolutely thrilled that Tay is joining the team. “I’ve admired both his work and his commitment to raising the quality of Singapore’s creative output for some time now and can’t wait to start working together," he added.

Meanwhile, Jean-Paul Burge, CEO BBDO Asia, said Tay is a tremendous creative with an impressive and long-standing reputation that is more than well deserved. "I’m delighted to have someone of his calibre leading the Singapore office and am certain he will make a positive and rapid creative impact on our work and its effectiveness both in Singapore and beyond," he said.

Separately across the border, BBDO announced that it is folding operations in Malaysia. Marketing understood then that it has laid off 21 individuals and will exit the market over the next three months. BBDO also said it is reducing its Hong Kong presence to a small regional team, and will concentrate its creative resources and work from that market into Beijing and Shanghai. It is understood that 16 employees in Hong Kong have been laid off.

Burge told Marketing previously it is not going back to how things were but moving forward instead. As such, it has decided to realign its capabilities and resources with the expectations and demands it anticipates from clients in the future, and thus the potential for BBDO's business in the region.

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