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Ogilvy appoints dedicated ethnographer to understand Chinese consumer cultures


Dr. Michael Griffiths joins Ogilvy & Mather Greater China’s Discovery team in Shanghai

SHANGHAI — Ogilvy & Mather China today announced the appointment of Dr. Michael Griffiths as Director of Ethnography, effective immediately. Based in Shanghai, Dr. Griffiths joins the agency as the newest member of O&M Greater China’s consumer insights and trends unit Discovery which focuses on interpreting China’s social and cultural dynamics with the aim of creating more effective, culturally relevant and creative work for clients.

In this newly created role, Dr. Griffiths will be responsible for leading ethnographic and qualitative research projects for the Discovery team, creating connections with the academic community in China and internationally, and providing research support and analysis to discipline heads and clients from across the Ogilvy Group in China.

Dr. Griffiths’ initial efforts will focus on several studies spanning a broad spectrum of topics – from the environmentally sustainable practices of consumption, to an analysis of the Chinese domestic car industry and Chinese consumers’ savings and investment behaviors.

Dr. Griffiths said, “Working at Ogilvy represents a fantastic opportunity to put my knowledge, skills and experience to work in the business world. As well as leading research projects, I hope to contribute inspiring perspectives on cultural analysis across the agency, and to work closely with Ogilvy’s business leaders and clients to facilitate strategic consumer insights and advance our thought leadership.”

Kunal Sinha, Executive Director of Discovery, O&M Greater China, who was also recently named Regional Cultural Insights Director, O&M Asia Pacific, said “Michael is really interested in the market application of his work, which led him to our doors. I’m sure that he will adapt to our business environment from an academic one with the same consummate ease and sensitivity that he did when he moved from the UK to China.”

Fluent in Mandarin, Dr. Griffiths has just moved with his family to Shanghai from Anshan, a steel and mining town in northern China where he worked in a hotpot restaurant in 2007 to understand migrant workers better. His experiences were recently published in the Journal of Current Chinese Affairs and another of his papers on Chinese consumer practices will be published in Ethnography, a high-ranking academic journal, next month. Dr. Griffiths holds a
Ph.D from the National Institute of Chinese Studies at the University of Leeds.

Adding to the Discovery team’s achievements, Kunal Sinha has won WPP’s Atticus Grand Prix for a remarkable third time for his entry (with O&M Group China’s Chief Planning Officer Mickey Chak), entitled “Unmasking the Chinese Consumer”. WPP’s annual Atticus awards celebrate the best in published original thinking in the field of marketing and communications. Several of the winning entries are available online in the WPP Reading Room at

About Ogilvy Discovery
Ogilvy Discovery is the consumer insights and trends unit of Ogilvy & Mather Greater China. The Discovery team tracks changes in consumer culture, the evolution in influences on the choices that people make – both in their lives and brands, and the social context of consumption. In the last several years, the Discovery team has conducted large scale studies on consumers and branding in China’s 2nd/3rd and 4th-6th tier cities, the value of creativity in China, perceptions of Chinese corporations and brands, Chinese nationalism, China’s senior citizens among others. Ogilvy Discovery also publishes a monthly digital newsletter called “Cool Path” that tracks and reports cutting-edge trends in China.

About Ogilvy & Mather Group China
Ogilvy & Mather Group China ( is the largest marketing communications network in China. It offers the full range of marketing communication disciplines including advertising, direct marketing, interactive media, database management, public relations, graphic design and related marketing disciplines.

Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide (, a WPP company (NASDAQ: WPPGY), with more than 450 offices in 120 countries, specializes in advertising, relationship and interactive marketing, public relations, sales promotion and related services.


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