Tan Sri Vincent Lee and Trapper Media back Ampersand Advisory Launch

Tan Sri Vincent Lee, Trapper Media Group and Sandeep Joseph have partnered up to launch Ampersand Advisory, a digital-centred consultancy that provides clients with business solutions in data, media and content.

Ampersand Advisory is backed by Tan Sri Vincent Lee and Trapper Media Group. Tan Sri Vincent Lee is chairman of the Foetus Group and founder of the IdeaRiverRun Group, which is a private equity player with several digital investments.

Tan Sri Vincent Lee said, “This joint investment by a leading creative agency and a leading media agency is unique in the Malaysian marketplace. We’re happy to be a key driver of this innovation. The future of communication is about smart partnerships, digital centricity and creative integration. Ampersand Advisory is a bold, first-of-its-kind step into the real future of marketing. With several traditional business consultancies like McKinsey entering the marketing space, it’s time for marketing agencies to develop a new kind of consulting offering as well.”

When asked about Ampersand Advisory’s prospective clientele, founder and CEO Joseph said that while the company is only one month old, it is already working with five clients on several projects, as well as longer-term assignments. It declined to name these clients, citing client confidentiality clauses. Ampersand Advisory’s services includes business consulting, media advisory and content strategy.

Explaining the agency name, Joseph said Ampersand Advisory is named after the “&” sign and signifies client and consultant working together seamlessly.

“Our role is to help data insights and media and creative come together smoothly. Ampersand Advisory provides an alternative to traditional “either/or” strategic choices: now an “and/&” is available. Importantly, Ampersand Advisory is a consultancy (not a conventional agency) and aims to be a trusted advisor,” he said. He added that the consultancy bridges the gap between expectations, strategy and delivery.

“We are results-based, client-focused, and transparent,” said Joseph.

“When clients have multiple agencies (creative, media, activation, sales, social, digital etc) working for them, they need someone to bring everybody together and provide clear strategy and guidance. In steps Ampersand Advisory. We can work with all kinds of agencies collaboratively.”

Overall, Joseph has 20 years of advertising experience across creative, digital start-ups, media specialist agencies and econometrics. He was last head of strategy and digital at Zenith Malaysia, a role he left in February this year. Prior to working at Zenith, Joseph was the managing director at XM Malaysia, and national head of Ogilvy Interactive in India. He had also co-founded his own digital start-up (eDeltaC) and sold it to Ogilvy in India, in the early 2000s.

Joseph (pictured) was at Zenith Malaysia for about seven years in various capacities. He aided the agency’s push towards digitalisation and told A+M that with his strategic presence, the agency won over 50 local and international awards in the past four years. Under his strategic leadership, the company won several pitches such as BMW, SCA, Domino’s, Maybank and others. It also retained the Petronas account, in two highly competitive media pitches.

He added, “Let’s be clear: the rise of data doesn’t mean branding will die. Paradoxically, brand-building is even more important today than it ever was. In a sea of noise, a brand must stand out. Too many clients are slashing branding budgets in lieu of tactical sales or social engagement, and as such, end up losing market share. We can help Chief Marketing Officers navigate C-level discussions with their CFOs and CEOs.”

Sivanathan Krishnan, founder and chairman of Trapper Media Group, said: “Trapper Media Group is proud to co-create this new offering and help bring it to the Malaysian market. Artificial intelligence, data and insights are part of the new needs of clients. Ampersand Advisory is in line with Trapper’s agenda to develop hard-working innovations that bring real business value to clients.”

He mentioned that Ampersand Advisory is also working with AI pioneers and Internet of Things players to disrupt conventional marketing paradigms and drive greater business ROI for the clients. Some of these AI technologies are also Asia firsts.

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