BANGKOK, March 14, 2013 - XM Asia Pacific Pte Ltd., a JWT company, has acquired a majority stake in Thomas Idea, Thailand’s leading digital and interactive media agency. The acquisition will give XM Asia a foothold in one of Southeast Asia’s most important markets.
Thomas Idea, which was founded in 1995, offers a full range of digital services, from online strategy planning to user experience design, large-scale application development and the full suite of digital and social media marketing services. The agency employs around 45 people and clients include Beiersdorf, Reckitt Benckiser, Abbott Laboratories, SB Furniture, and Pruksa Real Estate. Thomas Idea CEO Uraiporn “Polly” Cholsirirungskul and Chief Creative Officer Araya Choutgrajank, who together co-founded the company, will remain on in their current leadership roles.
"I am extremely pleased that both Polly and Araya are joining our growing family. Thomas Idea is a key acquisition for us as we are preparing ourselves for the further opening of markets through the ASEAN Economic Community 2015 agreement. We share the same vision of wanting to work with brands that are willing to transform in order to fully capitalise on the fundamental benefits of being more digital,” said Paul Soon, CEO of XM Asia Pacific.
XM Asia has operations in Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong, and last year, acquired Magnivate, Indonesia’s largest digital agency.
“It is a great opportunity to join one of the strongest digital networks in Asia. The synergies with XM Asia, combined with our team’s exceptional skills, will serve to strengthen our digital offering to our clients and expand our scope across the region,” said Cholsirirungskul.
“Digital is not only becoming the core communication for many brands, but is fast becoming the heart of business. The digital wave is now sweeping Thailand, and this deal positions us, and XM, to ride the very edge of that wave,” added Choutgrajank.
Thailand’s nascent social media scene has reached a critical tipping point. The number of Thais on Facebook, for example, hit 18 million in December 2012, up sharply from 13 million the same period a year before, making this an important point of communication for the country’s advertisers. Overall spending on digital advertising grew by 48% in 2012, according to GroupM.
JWT Asia Pacific has invested heavily in expanding its digital footprint over the last year. In addition to XM Asia’s acquisition of Magnivate, JWT acquired Hungama Digital Services, India’s leading digital agency, and took a stake in Converge, in Pakistan. This latest deal, in Thailand, underscores JWT's commitment to expand its offerings of technological solutions that optimize consumer engagement experience.
“We have ambitious plans for XM Asia, and more acquisitions are on the horizon. One of our top priorities this year is the continued expansion of our digital offerings, and XM will continue to play a major role in that growth plan,” said Michael Maedel, JWT’s Asia Pacific Chairman.
Born in 1995, XM Asia (www.xm-asia.com) is one of Asia’s first and largest digital agencies. XM has created effective, innovative and award-winning strategies for companies across Southeast Asia for over 16 years, and continues to serve as a pioneer in the digital marketing space.
The agency’s mantra is to deliver optimized digital experiences and strategies that enable their clients to build deeper consumer conversations with maximum ROI.
To accomplish this, XM delivers a full range of proven digital marketing and technology consulting services. These range from business intelligence to platform development, consumer insights to user experience, rich internet application development to social media management, as well as data analytics and channel optimization.
XM clients across the region include Ford, MasterCard, HP, Economic Development Board of Singapore and the Singapore Tourism Board. XM Asia is Adobe’s first and only business partner in Asia.
XM Asia is a JWT company, and part of the WPP group.
About JWT APAC
JWT opened their first offices in Asia Pacific in 1929. JWT APAC, headquartered in Singapore, has more than 3,000 employees spread across 18 countries.
Not only are we recognized as one of the largest and most experienced agencies in APAC, but also one of the most creative. In 2011, we captured Mainland China’s first Cannes Grand Prix Lion and first Grand LIA at the London International Awards. We were also named the number 3 Network Agency of the Year at Spikes Asia. Our long history of firsts continues with Lo Sheung Yan, China Chairman and Northeast Asia ECD, being appointed as Cannes Lions first ever Jury President from China.
In addition to working with JWT’s prestigious multinational clients, JWT APAC works with some of Asia’s largest brands including Haier, Indosat, Bharti Airtel and Korea Ginseng & Tobacco.
JWT is the world’s best-known marketing communications brand. Headquartered in New York, JWT is a true global network with more than 200 offices in over 90 countries employing nearly 10,000 marketing professionals.
JWT consistently ranks among the top agency networks in the world and continues its dominant presence in the industry by staying on the leading edge—from producing the first-ever TV commercial in 1939 to developing award-winning branded content for brands such as Smirnoff, Macy’s, Ford and HSBC.
JWT’s pioneering spirit enables the agency to forge deep relationships with clients including Bayer, Bloomberg, Cadbury, Diageo, DTC, Ford, HSBC, Johnson & Johnson, Kellogg’s, Kimberly-Clark, Kraft, Nestlé, Nokia, Rolex, Royal Caribbean, Schick, Shell, Unilever, Vodafone and many others. JWT’s parent company is WPP (NASDAQ: WPPGY).
Asia Pacific Director of Corporate Communications