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May 13, 2009

Iris adds talent to Asia Pacific experiential team

Global independent marketing agency Iris has appointed former Sony marketer Catherine Gibson as director of its experiential operation, Iris Experience, in Sydney.

Gibson returns to her native Australia from the UK, where she has held the position of sponsorship and events manager at Sony Electronics UK since 2007.

Gibson was responsible for the strategy and delivery of experiential and sponsorship activity worth up to $14.5 million a year across the Sony master brand and 15 sub-brands. She brings over 11 years’ experience in delivering live marketing solutions across Australia, the Middle East and Europe. 
Iris, whose clients include Sony Ericsson, adidas and Shell, is investing in experiential in response to an increase in client demand for sales-led strategies. Experiential marketing already represents a significant amount of Iris’ business in Sydney, and the newly created role will see Gibson oversee all brand experience, events, sponsorship activation, sampling and property creation for clients.
“We’ve found another star talent in Catherine, to help lead our growing experiential team,” said Iris Asia Pacific regional chief executive Richard Bleasdale. “As the market changes, we are focusing on giving clients real-time, integrated solutions to their business challenges. Catherine will contribute directly to this focus and help us in our drive to offer clients a significantly better global marketing agency option.”
Commenting on her new role, Gibson said: “As a passionate ambassador for experiential marketing, I am delighted to be joining an agency with such creativity, professionalism and no-nonsense reliability. In this age of media saturation, I believe that live brand experiences have the ability to break through consumer cynicism to build longer-term emotional engagement with brands. iris’ collaborative approach gives it a real edge that extends beyond its various marketing disciplines working together.”
Gibson will report directly to managing director of Iris Sydney, Simon Porter, and will work closely with Luke Nathans, who joined from the One Centre in Australia in March to take up the role of managing director of iris Experience across Asia Pacific, based in Singapore. She will also be responsible for managing experiential new business opportunities. 
Iris also made a number of high-profile appointments to its Asia Pacific operations in 2008, including Porter and Bleasdale, and more senior appointments expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

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