NEW DENTSU UNITS CAST EYES ON ASIA : AGENCY REORGANIZATION TO TARGET NEW-BUSINESS WINS OUTSIDE JAPAN

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[tokyo] The world's biggest ad agency, Dentsu, is restructuring its international operations to focus on faster growth in Asia.

It plans more aggressive efforts to win business in the rest of Asia from its Japanese client base.

The agency will announce this week two new divisions, for overseas business and project development, effective July 1.

Osamu Inoue returns to Tokyo as director of the new overseas business development division. Mr. Inoue is a former VP of Dentsu's U.S. operations who has most recently been president of Dentsu's successful Indonesian joint venture, Pt. Inter Admark in Jakarta.

His responsibilities will include strengthening Dentsu's offices throughout Asia, including bringing in new management for many of them.

Fumio Oshima, an executive director of Dentsu, will be area director-Asia and also head Dentsu's new overseas project development division. His job-and that of other senior executives-will include persuading more of Dentsu's clients in Japan to use the agency overseas, especially in Asia.

U.S.-educated Mr. Oshima has previous experience as an account supervisor on Nestle, handled by Dentsu in Japan and other Asian markets.

Although Dentsu is vast in size, with total 1995 billings of $13.7 billion according to the company's last annual report, only 1.1% comes from what the company calls "international communications."

Dentsu owns several U.S. agencies and the CDP Europe network, but has never been successful at making money or winning significant business, even from its Japanese clients, in either market.

Its Rogge Effler & Partners, Los Angeles, is pitching American Honda Motor Co.'s Acura.

DENTSU `NOT ON THE RADAR'

Competitors say Dentsu has not been a particularly aggressive new-business fighter outside Japan.

"They're not on the radar in a big way in a lot of places," said a Taipei-based Leo Burnett Co. manager.

Denstu Exec VP Mitsuo Fujii supervises all of Dentsu's overseas operations, including the Americas and Europe. The latter will continue to be run by area directors Nobuo Momose and Kazuo Miyakawa, respectively.

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