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By Alice Z. Cuneo, Jean Halliday and Abbey Klassen

June 26, 2001

NEW YORK ( -- Tokyo-based Dentsu Inc. today announced plans to buy New York-based Oasis International Group. Details of the terms are still being worked out, said Eric McClure, one of three

Executives of Dentsu Inc.
managing partners at Oasis and the media director.

Oasis is a full-service advertising agency with estimated 2000 billings of $41 million. Dentsu is the world's fourth-largest ad organization, with billings of $4.1 billion, according to Advertising Age's agency report

Share clients
Dentsu has had a non-equity alliance with Oasis since March 2000, and the companies already share a few clients. Early last year, Oasis collaborated with Dentsu to win the recently awarded Sharp Electronics account, with estimated billings of $4 million to $5 million.

Oasis also acts as the corporate agency for Toyota Motor North America, an affiliate of Toyota Motor Sales USA, which overseas corporate advertising, while Dentsu is Toyota's main agency in Japan. A Dentsu shop also represents Lexus in Canada and another works with Toyota in Brussels.

Dentsu has long desired a U.S. car account. Dentsu also owns Colby & Partners, Los Angeles, which handles American Suzuki Motor Corp. (Colby changed its name June 7 from Colby Effler & Partners.) On the topic of Oasis being the designated driver for Dentsu's search for a car account, Rick Colby, president of Colby, noted that many holding companies have different car accounts at various agencies.

"At this point, they [the car accounts] are totally separate," he said.

A Suzuki spokeswoman said the automaker isn't concerned about potential conflicts, since the agency reassured the client of firewalls between the accounts. "We were informed ahead of time" of the planned deal, she said.

Avoiding conflicts of interest
The acquisition will increase Dentsu's "entrepreneurial spirit" in the U.S., said a Dentsu Business Development Group LLC spokesman. It will also add another agency to which Dentsu could steer clients, should they conflict with business already handled by a Dentsu agency.

Don Effler, formerly of Colby Effler and now chairman of the Dentsu Business Development Group, which searches for new Dentsu business opportunities in the Americas, oversaw the deal.

The spokesman also assured that while price is still under negotiation, the purchase will be completed within one to two months.

Copyright June 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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