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Leo Burnett Malaysia debuts Creative Council

MALAYSIA – Tan Kien Eng, CEO, Leo Burnett Malaysia announced today, a new creative structure which will see six senior award-winning creative directors jointly take the creative helm of the agency. The Creative Council includes Iska Hashim, group creative director; James Yap, creative director; Ian Lee, creative director; Christie Herman, creative director; Theresa Tsang, creative director Alpha245 and Andrew Low, who recently joined the agency as executive creative director.

Elaborating on what the Creative Council has been tasked with, Tan said,” The role of the Creative Council is to redefine the type of work we ought to be producing now and beyond. Through Humankind, they will collaborate with key senior agency members to help reshape the agency to deliver the world’s best creative ideas that truly move people – bar none.”

“With the rapidly changing communication landscape today, we felt that this is an apt time to hit the refresh button on how we work and the way we structure ourselves to ensure that we are at our competitive best in using creativity to deliver dynamic business change for our clients’ businesses. In the past few years, Leo Burnett Malaysia has gone through a tremendous change with double-digit growth year on year and evolved from an advertising agency to a fully integrated communications company. The changes and growth we had experienced also opened up a window of opportunity to retool and reboot the agency with a firm focus on the future. Iska, James, Ian, Christie, Theresa and Andrew are all experienced and accomplished creatives – the potential from their combined creative prowess and extensive knowledge of our business is strong and will be a great asset to take Leo Burnett to the next level,” continued Tan.


Iska Hashim – Group Creative Director
With a total of 24 years’ experience – 17 of which at Leo Burnett – in advertising behind him, Iska has created numerous creative campaigns in his career for brands including Tenaga Nasional, PETRONAS, McDonald’s, AIA, Kinokuniya and the Malaysian Nature Society. His work at Leo Burnett has gained more than 100 recognitions at local, regional and global creative awards. Iska graduated from Boston University with a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communications in 1990 and started his career at Backer Spielvogel Bates in the same year. Two years later, he moved on to Saatchi & Saatchi where he spent six years – working on Audi, The Datai, Sunquick, Malaysia National Insurance and Hewlett Packard – before moving to Leo Burnett in 1998.

Andrew Low – Executive Creative Director
Flipped burgers at 15. Washed empty root beer mugs at 16. Sold tees at 17. Discovered Led Zep at the same time. Worked the lines to sell hotel memberships at 18. Waited on tables to serve California Rolls at 19. An advertising graduate from RMIT Melbourne. He’s now in his 16th year of advertising following stints at Publicis Singapore, McCann Erickson Malaysia and more recently, Ogilvy & Mather Malaysia. Never a man who refuses a good challenge, he has worked on numerous brands including Nescafe, Milo, BMW, Al Rajhi Bank, CIMB Bank, Malaysia Airlines, Guinness, Coca Cola, Hard Rock Hotel, Cadbury and Pizza Hut. And then some. His work has been recognised at Cannes, One Show, AdFest, London International Awards, Spikes, Asian Marketing Effectiveness Awards (AMEs), Love you Mum, WARC Prize for Asian Strategy, IPA Effectiveness Awards, the EFFIES, The Work and Kancils.

Christie Herman – Creative Director
Following graduation, Herman was a drummer, disc jockey and marketing executive before stumbling upon advertising. In a career that spanned over two decades in both Malaysia and Indonesia, Herman had accumulated experience working across multiple categories for clients and brands including Telekom Malaysia, Marlboro, UOB, Petronas, Wyeth, Perodua, Dumex, Tiger Beer, Nestle, Sime Darby and Unilever. This is his second stint at Leo Burnett. Prior to Leo Burnett, he has also worked at Bates Malaysia, Naga DDB, Lowe Malaysia, Saatchi & Saatchi Malaysia, McCann Erickson Malaysia, Publicis Indonesia. His work has been recognised at international and regional awards show including Cannes Lions, One Show, D&AD, Clio, AdFest, Spikes Asia, London International Awards and Australia AWARD.

Ian Lee – Creative Director
Lee’s 15 years of advertising and creative experience was accumulated across Malaysia, Hong Kong and Singapore with agencies including Saatchi & Saatchi, Ogilvy & Mather and Arc/Leo Burnett. Throughout his career, he has led creative teams working on FMCG giants Unilever and P&G as well as worked on brands as diverse as Toyota, Tiger Beer, Mead Johnson, Kraft and CIMB Bank. His work has been recognised at Cannes Lions, D&AD, AdFest, Spikes Asia, Kancil, Creative Circles Awards (Singapore) and EFFIES Awards.

James Yap – Creative Director
Yap has close to 20 years of experience in advertising and creativity across Singapore and Malaysia where he led creative teams and handled integrated work for regional and global clients. His portfolio includes work done for Unilever’s Ponds, Coca Cola Company’s Aquarius, Castrol, Singapore Tourism Board, Singapore Health Promotion Board, Kraft Foods, Toyota, Guinness and Tiger Beer. His work has been received accolades from leading local, regional and global awards shows including Cannes Lions, D&AD, AdFest, Spikes Asia, Creative Circles Awards (Singapore) and EFFIES Awards.

Theresa Tsang – Creative Director (Alpha245)
Tsang started her journey in design and advertising 17 years ago as a graphic designer in one of Malaysia’s leading design firm. From there, she moved on to Ogilvy One Worldwide followed by Leo Burnett/Arc Worldwide. During that period, she combined great design, art direction and strategic insightful communication to create impactful work for her clients. As one of the most awarded Direct Creatives in Asia today, Tsang was acknowledged in the Won Report as the only creative with the most pieces of work ranked in the World’s Top Ten Direct Marketing Campaign in 2006. Her work has been recognised at Cannes Lions, New York Festivals, Caples International Awards, Malaysian Direct Marketing Awards, Echo Awards, DM Asia, D&AD and One Show amongst others. Leading the creative charge at Alpha 245 a part of the Leo Burnett group, Tsang is passionate about nurturing the creative team, focusing on not just creating advertising but effective communication solutions that contribute positively to brand building and driving populism.

Earlier in March, Leo Burnett Malaysia’s Eric Cruz moved to AKQA Shanghai to replace Johan Vakidis as Executive Creative Director.

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