Hakuhodo greets U.S. with online card, sweepstakes service

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TOKYO--Japan's No. 2 ad agency, Hakuhodo, has ventured into the U.S. Internet business with the launch of an online greeting card business (www.sharedgreetings.com) that also offers sweepstakes services.

The agency is expecting to repeat the success of a similar service, launched in Japan in 1996, which tallies about 2.9 million cards a year. For the business year starting next April 1, Hakuhodo estimates that it will take in about $20 million in billings on its U.S. greeting card and sweepstakes business.

"Targeting the U.S. online greeting card market marks a new departure for Hakuhodo, which brings the basic business models and expertise from the Japanese greeting card market to the Anglophone Internet to create a unique service based on an original business model," the company says.

Hakuhodo is considering listing its new U.S. venture on the Nasdaq market as early as 2002.

Copyright October 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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