With such a radical overhaul taking place at Initiative in 2017, maintaining the agency’s success and development in 2018 was a key goal. Clarity in leadership came with Will Anstee’s elevation to APAC president, and the eight months he has been at the helm have seen a further 20 leadership changes at Initiative across the region, although some of these involved moving existing IPG Mediabrands leaders into dedicated Initiative roles.
The agency’s focus on culture-based solutions has led it to pursue greater understanding of the local APAC markets in which it operates, and that, coupled with growing new business, has meant rapid expansion in certain countries. Around 18 months ago the China office housed 12 people – it is now home to more than 100, and Anstee says he takes particular pride in that transformation being recognised so quickly by this year’s bronze award for China Media Agency of the Year at Campaign Asia-Pacific’s Agency of the Year awards. Moreover, Recma rated Initiative’s China and Indonesia offices as the fastest growing in their respective markets.