Instead, the new venture will provide expertise in a range of communication services such as direct marketing, database marketing, advertising and media planning. The office will be controlled and managed by O&M, but services will be "bought" from other companies, including sister WPP Group agency J. Walter Thompson Japan.
O&M's new approach was inaugurated May 9, when Philip Goodstein, the agency's representative in Japan, moved his office from I&S Corp. to a larger space in the same building as JWT.
The new unit, to be called Ogilvy & Mather Japan, expects business from O&M international clients, such as American Express Co., Nestle and Nippon Lever, that now are handled in Japan by other agencies.
"We are setting up in a different [much less traditional] way from before," Mr. Goodstein said. "The plan is to set up a core, small team and offer marketing communications, and not have separate direct marketing, advertising and other units," as O&M had tried earlier.
"We'll have a small Japanese team of highly experienced people [in total marketing communications] and buy other services. For example, [O&M will] have a creative director but not have a creative department," he said.
Initially, the office will consist of seven or eight people. But O&M will buy administrative services, accounting and back office support services like payroll and secretarial help from JWT. "We discussed this with JWT, and although the idea initially seemed strange [neither O&M nor JWT has a similar arrangement anywhere in the world], eventually we agreed that we could do this," Mr. Goodstein said.
O&M's first foray into Japan was a joint venture with Tokyu Agency International. It was dissolved in 1987, two years after opening, when the partners discovered they had different strategic expectations. Tokyu's intent was to expand beyond Japan in Asia, while O&M hoped to use Tokyu to get a foot in the door with Japanese clients.
A second venture, also called Ogilvy & Mather Japan, was formed from the Tokyo office of O&M's Meridian network, now the Ball Partnership.
O&M Japan closed in 1988 after four years as part of a plan to eliminate losses at international units to bolster earnings and hold off the takeover by WPP.
A working relationship, however, was developed with I&S, which assumed much of O&M's $5 million in billings, and a close relationship continues to this day.
O&M had no presence of its own from then until last June, when Mr. Goodstein moved to Japan to represent the agency's interests and worked at I&S offices.