NEW YORK – RFI Studios, the digital arm of Ruder Finn, is expanding into San Francisco and China to offer more localized digital services in both markets.

In San Francisco, Stephen Downs has been promoted to MD of RFI Studios West. While RFI Studios will maintain its own profit-and-loss (p&l) structure, Downs will work closely with Dushka Zapata, MD of Ruder Finn West, on new business initiatives in the region.

When asked about the blurring between core digital and PR services, Downs said “My p&l is specific to builds and interactive properties...but we are working to figure out where those lines are drawn.”

For several years, RFI Studios has been servicing West Coast clients - including Samsung Research America, Ares Management and Xerox Park -- from New York.   

In a market crowded with digital shops, Downs says RFI’s selling point will be its partnership with Ruder Finn that taps into the agency’s storytelling expertise to complement its digital capabilities. Downs will report into RFI Studios head Scott Schneider, based in its New York headquarters. 

RFI West will focus on technology, innovation, healthcare, corporate and consumer brands.

Roland Wei will lead RFI Studios China to provide a full range of digital services to the market, including insight, production, content marketing and community management.

Wei will work with Ruder Finn Asia on its niche segment in luxury and healthcare companies. RFI Asia will focus on competitive positioning and consumer marketing, as well as providing specialized offerings in health education and prevention programs, digital CRM and mobile health.

RFI Studios employees more than 65 digital specialists worldwide with its core capabilities being in design, production, video, technology, user experience and digital strategy practices.