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Essence boosts APAC leadership team

Essence, a data-driven global agency, made two new additions to the agency’s regional leadership team. Stephen Tompkins has been named Head of Media Activation, APAC, and Haruna McWilliams will become Regional Strategy Director, a newly-created role.

As the Head of Media Activation in APAC, Mr Tompkins will be charged with overseeing a team of social, display and search media activation experts across APAC. He will sit on the Regional Leadership team and report to Oscar Garza, global director of media activation. With over 15 years of rich digital media experience in Asia and North America, Mr Tompkins most recently spent six years at Publicis across New York, Beijing and Singapore handling operations, activation and strategy for the programmatic practice.

Additionally, he was part of the initial Vivaki Media Technology team which developed the original audit process for all ad tech vendors in North America and APAC. He was part of the launch team to setup Vivaki’s biddable media practice in Southeast Asia across 8 markets. Prior to joining Publicis, he worked in marketing and account management for Microsoft, Mediaplex and Nielsen.

Ms McWilliams will step into the newly-created role of Regional Strategy Director to build Essence’s strategy offering in the region. She will work closely with Alastair Boyle, Global Strategy Lead, to coordinate Essence’s regional and global viewpoint. Ms McWilliams will report to Kyoko Matsushita, CEO of Essence APAC. With over fifteen years of industry experience, she most recently served as Global Planning Director at Leo Burnett, Singapore, where she played a key role on P&G brands. Previously she held roles in Japan, US and the UK with Ogilvy & Mather, BBDO and JWT in charge of strategy for global clients such as Unilever, Danone, AmEx and Cisco Systems. Before her move to Singapore, she built the strategy capability for IPG Mediabrands in Japan, where she was the lead on key global clients including J&J and Coca-Cola.

“The collective knowledge and expertise that Stephen and Haruna bring to Essence further strengthens our ability to deliver world-class, data-driven advertising. These appointments reflect our continued commitment to growing and investing in the APAC region,”,” said Ms Matsushita.

“I commend Essence for its creative use of data and its digital prowess. I am excited to work alongside an industry stalwart like Oscar and I believe my deep industry knowledge combined with my global operations experiences will only enhance Essence’s regional footprint in APAC,” said Mr Tompkins.

“Essence’s mission to make advertising more valuable to the world always struck a chord with me. It’s an exciting time for Essence in the region and I look forward to working closely with the regional and global leadership teams to make impactful contributions,” said Ms McWilliams.

The appointments are effective immediately. Both leaders will be based in the agency’s Singapore office.