Publicis Groupe appoints Laurent Thevenet as Head of Creative Technology, APAC & MEA; Anna Tomasetti + Barbara Messer join regional team
Publicis Groupe continues to build its regional creative team with three new hires. Laurent Thevenet is joining as Head of Creative Technology for Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa (APAC & MEA), based in Singapore. Anna Tomasetti joins as Creative Community Manager, APAC & MEA, while Barbara Messer joins as Head of Creative PR, APAC & MEA.
They will report to Natalie Lam, Chief Creative Officer, APAC & MEA, and will work with her to strengthen the creative community and creative product across the region.
Thevenet (pictured middle) is joining Publicis Groupe from R/GA Singapore where he was Executive Technology Director, overseeing work across Southeast Asia and having led projects across China, India, the Middle East and Australia. He founded the APAC R/GA Prototype Studio in 2016 – the only studio of its kind outside of R/GA New York, which developed prototypes for clients such as Nike, Uber, Google, Siemens and Nikon.
“Laurent is many things: a thinker, maker, musician and coder who knows the latest about all things tech and brand values. Having him in the Groupe will bring firepower and magic to help our clients connect with their audience in a region full of rich traditions and big ambitions for the future. He joins a team of integrated thinkers and technologists, where he will add to our Power of One belief and collaborate across borders. I’m thrilled he’s joining us,” says Lam.
Originally from France, Thevenet moved to Singapore in 2008. After running an e-commerce startup, a web television channel, and an interactive studio, he joined the advertising industry in 2012. He recently led the product strategy, design and architecture of the Zig app, made from scratch in less than one year. Other highly acclaimed projects include a personalized music video for Uber based on user riding data; and a network of connected basketball courts for the Nike China Rise Academy.
“Joining Publicis Groupe was an obvious choice for me. I’m an engineer by training but have always worked at the intersection of music, art, creativity and technology, which makes the role a perfect fit. The scale of Publicis Groupe, the spectrum of its skills and capabilities, and the opportunity to impact work across so many offices was irresistible. I’m fascinated by the possibilities in a region that’s home to some of the world’s most populous and technologically advanced markets,” he says.
Thevenet joins Publicis Groupe in October 2021 and will remain based in Singapore.
Tomasetti (pictured right) joins Publicis Groupe with 10 years of wide-ranging experiences in the film and advertising industries. After two years as Director of the Canberra Short Film Festival, she joined Cannes Lions, Dubai Lynx and Spikes Asia as Awards Manager and Communications Officer. Here, she implemented See it Be It, a diversity program for the biggest creative festivals in the MENA and APAC regions. She was also Director of Black and White Report in Dubai, an independent organisation that supports and nurtures creativity and emerging talent in the Middle East and North Africa.
“Building a connective tissue between creative teams across three continents and eight time zones is certainly a challenge, but also a very exciting journey ahead. I truly believe in the power of connections that help us thrive in both work and life, and I can only try my hardest to inspire our regional creative community to be a part of that vision,” says Tomasetti.
Meanwhile, Messer (pictured left) joins Publicis Groupe with almost 20 years of journalism, communications and awards experience. She began her career as a creative industries reporter and editor, later partnering with some of the Australia’s most acclaimed agencies to grow their creative reputations globally as a PR specialist. As Global Editor for AD STARS and ADFEST, she has helped to raise the profile of creative brands, agencies and leaders across the Asia Pacific, and remains a passionate advocate for the creative industries globally.
Messer said: “I’ve always loved telling other people’s stories and seeing the world through their eyes, which makes this a dream role for me: there are so many talented creatives at Publicis Groupe with incredible stories to share about their process, inspirations and ideas.”
Lam says: “We now have the best team to unite our talent as a true community, build a strong creative culture across the region, and make the Groupe the best place for all creative talent to be in. With my own path, I’ve learned how important it is to be in a place where I’m always learning and growing. Anna will work to inspire and energize our creative community so that we can learn from each other and drive impact for clients. Barbara will focus on all things creative from an internal and external creative communications lens. It’s an exciting time for Publicis Groupe APAC & MEA and myself: both for the Groupe’s commitment to putting creativity at the core of what we do, and selfishly all three of them are just the nicest and the most interesting people to spend time with.”