JWT Singapore CEO Frank Bauer today announced the promotion of the agency’s award-winning executive creative director, Valerie Cheng, to the role of Chief Creative Officer. Cheng takes over from Jun Fukawa, who be moving to JWT London to assume the role of global ECD for Unilever’s Sunsilk, Toni & Guy, and Timotei haircare brands, and Nestle.
The appointment of Cheng, who was named Digital Creative Director of The Year by the Institute of Advertising Singapore in both 2011 and 2012, is a key pillar in JWT Singapore’s strategy to make digital a core part of the agency’s creative services. JWT Singapore is ramping up its digital capability by training existing staff and bringing in a raft of new hires with digital skills and experience.
"After a long, worldwide search we talked to a lot of heavy-weight candidates and realized that there is no one better suited to fill this big role than Valerie. I am extremely happy that she accepted," said Frank Bauer, JWT Singapore CEO.
Cheng, who has over 15 years’ experience in advertising, started out as a digital specialist and built up a body of experience in brand-building and integrated creative solutions as her career evolved. She has worked with a range of local, regional and international clients, including Singapore Airlines, EDB, PSB, SilkAir, Hewlett Packard, Tiger Beer, SAP, United Overseas Bank (UOB), Visa, Burger King, Pizza Hut, HSBC and Procter & Gamble.
Prior to her role as executive creative director at JWT, she served as ECD at Publicis Modem Singapore, Creative Director at Leo Burnett/Arc Worldwide Singapore, and Art Director at XM Asia Pacific. She is a member of the Creative Advisory Panel for the Association of Accredited Advertising Agents Singapore (4AS) and also a member of The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS) who runs the Webby Awards.
She has judged at many regional and global industry festivals, including the D&AD awards, Cannes, Spikes, Effies and Singapore’s Creative Circle Awards, and earlier this month served as the Jury President of the Integrated and Mobile jury at ADFEST. Cheng, who has been invited to judge at the London International Awards and the CLIO awards this year, was voted by IAS as one of Singapore's Most Influential Creative Directors in 2011 and 2012.
"Valerie will make a smashing CCO. She has it all. She has digital running through her blood and is profoundly driven by creative ideas that are true to the brand. She resolves the tension between powerfully articulated creative ideas and the dynamism of new generation engagement. Valerie is also a brand warrior, someone who can unify the agency around the power of ideas," said JWT APAC CEO Tom Doctoroff.
Fukawa, who has worked with Dentsu Japan, Leo Burnett in Tokyo and Chicago, Bates Yomiko Japan and Hakuhodo Inc., joined JWT Japan as ECD in 2006. In 2009, he led JWT Japan to win its first-ever Grand Prix at Cannes for Kit Kat “Mail”, and two Gold medals at Spikes. Jun was appointed Chief Creative Officer at JWT Singapore in 2010, and where he structured a team with the ability to create innovative solutions in any channel of media.
Last year, under Fukawa and Cheng, JWT Singapore created the Rapid Rescue app for the Red Cross, connecting people who need help with the nearest first-aider with a few taps of their iPhone. This innovative app brought home numerous awards over the last year, including Best Digital Campaign and Best of Show at the Creative Circle Awards, Grand Prix at Ad Stars, two Silvers at Spikes, and a Gold and two Silver medals from ADFEST.
“We all wish Jun the very best in London in his new role,” said Doctoroff.