Tourism Australia has added ASAP+ to its digital roster to service China as part of its creative overhaul revealed by AdNews last week.
ASAP+ shares the digital and technology services with Publicis-owned Digitas with M&C Saatchi appointed to handle the main global creative account.
AdNews understands ASAP+ was appointed to the roster as Digitas has a smaller presence in the Chinese market. China, as well as the US, UK and Asia, were identified as key markets for Tourism Australia with the pitch process looking at agencies with presence in this market.
ASAP+, which has a relatively small presence in Australia, is a full service digital marketing agency with offices based in Shanghai, Sydney and London.
Digitas replaced AKQA as Tourism Australia's digital agency, which defended the account in the digital pitch process. M&C Saatchi replaced incumbent Clemenger Sydney in the creative pitch, ran by PwC, against Publicis Communications, Droga5, DDB Sydney and BMF.
Tourism Australia managing director John O’Sullivan said digital is the real battleground in today's world of destination marketing.
“Both Digitas and ASAP+ demonstrated a real understanding of our target customer, both globally and in China, and identified where we can engage most meaningfully with them on their digital journey. They showed us a compelling vision and a clear pathway to execute it," he said.
Tourism Australia CMO Lisa Ronson said competition for the share of the global travel wallet is "intense" so ideas need to have a high impact.
“Digitas and ASAP+ certainly tick those boxes as our new global digital partners. We see them playing a key role working alongside M&C Saatchi and our media services agency UM in helping to integrate our brand narrative across all digital touchpoints,” she said.
Digitas Australia CEO Adrian Farouk said: “As potentially one of the most competitive digital pitches of the year, we are humbled and excited to work with one of the country’s most trusted and revered brands.
ASAP+ CEO Dave Rumsey said: “The competition for digital attention in global travel has never been greater, especially in Australia’s biggest inbound market, China. We look forward to bringing our ideas and digital expertise to a table that not only contains world leading agencies but also a courageous and innovative world leading client in Tourism Australia."
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