Creative agency VIRTUE, owned by VICE Media Group, has appointed Lesley John as its managing director, APAC. In her new role, John (pictured) will oversee VIRTUE’s business and teams across the region, including offices in India, Indonesia, Korea, and Japan, from its Singapore hub. She will also report to VIRTUE’s co-presidents, Colin Mitchell and Chris Garbutt. The appointment comes as the agency further establishes its focus on the APAC region as a key growth market. 

Colin Mitchell, co-president, VIRTUE, said that the APAC market is incredibly diverse and offers considerable opportunities for the agency to deliver culturally impactful work for brands.“We continue to invest in our Singapore hub and there is exciting growth potential in other territories, including China and India. John is a brilliant and seasoned leader, who will drive this, to ensure VIRTUE delivers for clients across the region,” he added. 

A highly experienced advertising executive, John was previously from S4 Capital owned data, content and production company, Media.Monks, where she was head of client services in Singapore. Prior to that, she held senior and regional positions at VCCP , Arcade, and BBH. MARKETING-INTERACTIVE has reached out to VIRTUE and Media.Monks for additional information.

John said she is extremely thrilled to be joining the team as VIRTUE has an incredibly unique offering that stands out within the APAC market. “From the agency’s sheer talent to its cultural access within VICE, to its differentiating proposition, there is immense opportunity to help drive growth for brands in the region looking to become part of the ever-evolving cultural landscape," she added.

VIRTUE also said in a statement that it will announce a slew of new hires soon. The agency is also exploring opportunities to support its clients and brands in new markets across the region. According to VIRTUE, it has enjoyed significant growth over the past six months with the addition of several brands to its regional roster; including Coca-Cola, Procter & Gamble and Diageo.

Earlier in July this year, VIRTUE developed the initial concept for Coca-Cola's collection of four NFTs ahead of International Friendship Day on 30 July. Titled "Friendship Box", the collection was inspired by video-game loot boxes,  playing on the popular video game feature involving sealed mystery “boxes”, and  comprises some of Coca-Cola’s reimagined iconic assets; each NFT inspired by shared moments of friendship. According to Coca-Cola, the digital collectibles  were created in partnership with developer Tafi,  creator of custom 3D content for avatar an d emoji systems.

That same month, the agency also worked with P&G's haircare brand Rejoice to champion greater representation for hijabis through an emoji pack and a campaign titled #RejoiceEmojiMe. The emoji pack included a range of expressions and personalities which seek to enable hijabis to effortlessly express their individuality with confidence. The brand hopes to create tools for hijabis to express themselves with more richness and nuance, while encouraging the rest of the world to acknowledge and recognise the unique individuals beneath the hijab. 

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