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The man who is the message

(China Daily)

09:30, November 03, 2011

Tim Delaney, founder and chairman of Leagas Delaney. Yong Kai / China Daily

SHANGHAI - It was a dark and rainy night in 2009 when Tim Delaney first landed at Shanghai's Pudong International Airport. But despite the meteorological adversity, the frequent traveler and seasoned advertiser immediately sensed the immense dynamism of the city and the enormous opportunities within it.

"I still have this picture in my mind of the first sight of the airport. It leaves me with this futuristic impression, and the way the buildings were lit up felt like the center of the earth," Delaney, 65, said.

The Briton and his business can certainly be counted as latecomers to the country's most energetic hub, but Delaney has faith that with his inspirational writing gifts, and his relatively small but talented team, he can engineer some changes to the country's flourishing advertising landscape.

Delaney founded his own advertising firm, Leagas Delaney, 31 years ago in London. With five offices across the globe, clients have included household names such as InterContinental Hotels, Timberland Boot Company and Adidas AG, among many others.

"Only 18 months ago, we originally came here for one of our clients to the Shanghai Auto Show. I was then completely taken by Shanghai, especially the environment of the city. That's when we decided to start here in China," Delaney said.

He returned the following year, when his firm helped launch a new InterContinental Hotel in Shanghai, and handled public relations activities for the Swedish government during the 2010 Shanghai World Expo. These assignments reconfirmed Delaney's commitment to the city and his China office was open by the end of the trade exhibition.

To Delaney, it was a fairly simple move from being introduced to the market, working in it for a couple of weeks and then actually settling down and enjoying the sense of growth. However, it was also a big step forward.

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