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Meet the team

    We are bilingual and multilingual.

    We are bi-cultural having spent a long time working in China, the UK, Germany and the US.

    We do what we love. We love what we do.

  • Meimei Zhao
    Founder / Managing Director

    Meimei began her career as a journalist in China before moving to London where she worked as a Marketing and Comms Head for the largest independent Chinese media company, outside of the mainland.

    Meimei founded Variety Plus with a handful of staff in 2016. Today, Variety Plus is one of the UK’s fastest growing communication agencies with offices in London and Shanghai.

    Meimei loves the arts and when she is not running Variety Plus, spends her time helping to produce some of the UK’s most successful immersive theatre shows.

  • Olivia O’Toole

    Olivia is a multi-award winning, big brand marketeer with extensive international experience. She has spent her near 20- year career driving customer growth and commercial success for companies including London & Partners (Visit London), CNN International and BBC Worldwide.  

    Olivia is an expert in ‘adaptation/localization strategy’ having delivered high profile projects for global brands in nearly every continent. She spent three years in Hong Kong, has visited China many times, and is passionate about introducing the best of Britain to China.  

  • Yuxiao Zhao

    Yuxiao graduated from the School of Journalism, Media and Culture at Cardiff University before moving to London, where she became a bilingual journalist with a focus on politics and technology.

    Yuxiao joined Variety Plus as a founding member, she is now a Partner and oversees the London office.

    Yuxiao is passionate about languages, is a qualified translator and can often be found microphone in hand hosting one of our many client events.

  • Lea Cao
    Head of Shanghai Office

    Lea graduated from the University of Lyon before moving to London where she obtained her MA in Global Media from the University of Westminster. As a result of her studies, Lea is fluent in French, English and Chinese.

    Lea began her career as a social media journalist in London before moving back to Shanghai where she worked for local and global agencies, managing consumer campaigns for BMW, Nike,, Alibaba together with their social media accounts.

    We were delighted to welcome Lea to the Variety Plus team when she joined us in the beginning of 2019 as Head of our Shanghai office.

  • Tu Hu
    Director, Producer

    Tu completed his MA at Goldsmith’s College, University of London. Tu is one of the very few, if not only Chinese students to graduate with a masters in Screen Documentary from this creative powerhouse.

    Tu is the creative production genius behind Variety Plus and applies his extraordinary skills to every single production piece from social media viral video, TV commercials to film production. Tu manages the video production team and is Chair of Variety Plus’ joint venture with a studio called Central Image.

  • Xinghui Lee
    Head of Production

    Xinghui is a graduate of two of London’s prestigious universities - University of the Arts, ranked in the top 2 in the world for art and design, plus University College London (UCL), ranked in the top 15.

    Xinghui worked at UK creative agency Crossform (aka Free Bird) before joining the team at Variety Plus. Xinghui applies his craft daily, delivering our client’s key messages through creative visual approaches.


  • Joerg Buddenberg
    Marketing Expert (Germany)

    Joerg is our German Market Expert, specializing in developing communication strategies to enable non-local brands to cross over into Germany. He is a globally recognized and awarded marketeer passionate about developing bold and brave creative ideas and realizing the seemingly impossible.

    As Marketing Head for CNN International in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, his approach secured him four Cannes Lions, the most prestigious creative award in the world. He also scooped a highly coveted ADC Grand Prix Award on behalf of the network, which celebrates the very best of advertising and digital media globally.

    Joerg is an enthusiastic storyteller who is highly engaged in people-led journalist initiatives designed to benefit society and a company's bottom line, successfully bringing journalism and commercial communication together.

  • Shirly Shao
    Account Manager

    With a BA degree in English literature from Xiamen University and a MA in Education from UCL Institute of Education, Shirly is very passionate about cross-cultural communication and the education industry.

    At Variety Plus, Shirly represents Generation Z with her funky, unique, and creative copywriting style, ensuring our British clients authentically connect with Chinese audiences.

  • Rui Liu
    Account Manager

    Rui graduated from Goldsmiths, University of London, with an MA in Media & Communication. Rui is enthusiastic about all things media, marketing, and public relations and exploring diverse cultural phenomenons.

    Before joining the team, Rui worked for a top Chinese Internet Company.

  • Paul Smith
    PR Manager

    Paul is from Glasgow, Scotland, and graduated from Heriot-Watt University, one of the oldest Textile teaching institutes in the world. After graduating, Paul joined the fashion brand H&M, where he worked for nearly ten years and was responsible for the visual design and display of brand stores. 

    Paul has been immersed in the fashion industry for many years, is keen on socializing, and has a deep network of overseas designers and stylists.

  • Caroline Powell
    Senior Copywriter

    Caroline graduated with a degree in Graphic Design from the University of the Arts, London. She then studied Creative Writing at the University of Oxford.

    Caroline brings design flair and captivating storytelling to her copywriting work at Variety Plus, ensuring our client’s messaging and creative assets cleverly connect with local target audiences.

  • Su Liang
    Senior Graphic Designer

    Su is a London-based graphic designer who can also code. Su studied Graphic Design & Visual Communication at the Glasgow School of Art, graduating in 2011. He has been engaged in visual and interactive design ever since.

    Su is an expert in designing visual systems for enterprises and brands and optimizing a website’s UI experience. Examples of Su’s work can be found by looking at the websites of our most high-profile clients.