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Employees at Japanese Agencies Shaken but Safe

Big Shops Report Offices Withstood Devastation of Worst Quake in Country's History

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With the devastation wreaking havoc to the northeast of Japan's business center, ad agencies as of this afternoon reported that employees -- while shaken -- were safe, and offices fared well despite the record-setting earthquake.

Executives at the country's largest agency, Dentsu, told Ad Age at press time that employees were safe and offices in working order. That's a relief; the evacuation of Dentsu's headquarters building, a 48-story skyscraper with some 70 elevators, would pose a formidable challenge.

Via Twitter, WPP's Ogilvy assured people that its staffers in Tokyo were OK. McCann tweeted that its local office sustained minor damage, and although people were scared, they were grateful the situation was not worse.

"We have an office in Tokyo of about 30 people," Eric Hess, managing director of public-relations agency MSL's Japan hub, said in an email. "Everyone is OK. Some have had to walk very long distances home, but some have decided to spend the night in the office since most transportation systems are down. MSL Japan is also located in the same building with Beacon Communications and Emotion, two additional Publicis Groupe agencies."

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