Other agencies are moving into China through partnerships and joint ventures.
HSR Business to Business entered the Chinese market in 2006 through a partnership with Shanghai Advertising, a full-service marketing communications agency.
Rick Segal, CEO of HSR, said the agency interviewed more than 100 b-to-b agencies in China, including design shops, interactive agencies and traditional agencies, before partnering with Shanghai Advertising. “They had some Western advertising training, and they had processes that were very similar to ours,” Segal said.
Another important factor, he said, was the agency's relationship with the Chinese government. “In America, we're accustomed to running our work before the lawyers,” he said. “In China, they have an obligation to run their work before the government. You have to work with firms that have a good relationship with the government over there.”
Segal noted that when the agency was searching for a Chinese partner, almost all the agencies began their pitch with an itemization of their relationships with the government.
Since the partnership began, HSR has worked with Shanghai Advertising on several projects for clients including Tyco Electronics and Flowserve. M