afaqs! news bureau

DDB Worldwide to establish global creative centre in Shanghai

Amir Kassaei, chief creative officer, DDB will relocate to China to set up the company's global creative centre in Shanghai.

DDB Worldwide has announced the transfer of Amir Kassaei, its chief creative officer, who will establish DDB's global creative centre in Shanghai to reinforce DDB's efforts in the Asian region. The company claims to be the first global Madison Avenue agency to have moved its creative headquarters to China.

Kassaei is currently based in New York and has worked on major global brands such as Allianz, Apple, Adidas, Bosch, Coca-Cola, McDonald's, Nike, Reebok and Volkswagen.

DDB Worldwide to establish global creative centre in Shanghai
This move comes soon after the relocation of John Zeigler, chairman and CEO, DDB Group Asia Pacific, India and Japan, to Singapore in December, 2011; and Patrick Rona, former president of Europe, West Asia and Africa, Tribal DDB Worldwide and chief digital officer, DDB Group EMEA, to Tribal DDB Asia Pacific as its new president and chief digital officer for DDB Group Asia Pacific, who also moved to Singapore in January.

In an official communiqué about setting up DDB's global creative centre in Asia, Zeigler says, "World class brands are moving here and we will give them the world class creatives they have become accustomed to."

Kassaei was appointed as chief creative officer of DDB Worldwide in February, 2011. In 2003, he joined DDB as chief creative officer and associate partner, DDB Germany, where he helped reshape the agency in a short span. Under Kassaei's leadership, DDB Germany has been ranked as the most awarded German agency in The Gunn Report. During his tenure at DDB Germany, he founded and established Tribal DDB Germany as a modern, multi-channel agency. He was also the youngest DDB chief creative officer in Europe.

Born in Iran, raised in Austria and educated in France, Kassaei settled in Germany in 1997. He has held various roles at agencies such as TBWA, Barci & Partner and Springer & Jacoby, ranging from account manager, strategic planner to art director and designer. At Springer & Jacoby, he joined as copywriter and moved up to the post of creative director and finally, to executive creative director for the global Mercedes-Benz account. He was named The Big Won Report's 'Top Chief Creative Officer' in 2009, and has been selected as one amongst The Big Won's 'Top 3 Chief Creative Officers' for each of the last three years.

DDB Group Asia Pacific now has three core regional hubs at Hong Kong, Singapore and Shanghai.

Chuck Brymer, CEO, DDB Worldwide, says, "This is one of the most significant moves we have made in the history of DDB. The world as we know it is changing and our industry's growth market is now without doubt the Asian region. Move over New York, London and Paris. Hello Shanghai, Mumbai, Singapore. With this in mind, there's no better time to set up our creative powerhouse in China."