Asos engages on-the-ground PR help to crack China

UK online fashion house Asos has hired Redworks to assist in cracking the Chinese market by showing it can be trusted.

Asos: Looking to build trust in China
Asos: Looking to build trust in China

The company has brought in the Ogilvy & Mather-owned agency to help launch its e-commerce site in the country this week.

Jenny Duong, senior press officer for Asos, explained the comms challenge involved in dealing with public cynicism about the legitimacy of various websites.

"Asos is a global brand that people are familiar with but China is a different market when it comes to things like delivery and payment systems. We just want to educate potential shoppers that it is safe to use the new website.

"There is more concern in China over websites and which ones are trustworthy, so as well as raising awareness this is about educating potential shoppers that it is safe to use the website and showing we can be trusted."

Redworks, which won a pitch for the six-month brief, will work alongside the three-strong marcoms team Asos has established to handle the country.

The agency has a network spanning 37 countries, with an HQ in Shanghai and presence in Beijing and Guangzhou – two other cities identified by Asos as key to the Chinese fashion market.

Duong added that another key message was that though the site was separate from it would "be running similar stock".

She said that work would also include persuading shoppers to change their methods of payment.

"Chinese customers are also tech-savvy but currently more likely to shop with cash," she added.

Asos launched in the UK in 2000 and now has eight standalone country-specific websites, including a presence in Europe, Australia, America and Russia.

It operates in 237 countries and made a pre-tax profit of £54.7m in the year to August.

College Hill currently handles corporate work for the retailer across the UK.

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