Said Levy-Lambert: "We believe that Asia's economic problems are temporary and short-term and this is where the marketing and brand wars will be waged in the future. That's why we intend to be a major Asian player."
The Publicis Group launched its presence in the region last year by buying into Eureka in Singapore and Basic Advertising in the Philippines. Basic has since been split into two separate agencies. One agency retained the Basic name and the other called itself Publicis Philippines.
Publicis recently entered into a joint venture in Thailand and is expected to close a deal to purchase an independent Hong Kong agency. It has also established a presence in Indonesia through a partnership with a local firm.
In addition, four memoranda of understanding with other agencies have also been signed with the objective that the region will eventually contribute 20% of Publicis world-wide accounts.
According to Levy-Lambert, further acquisitions are being planned in Taiwan, Malaysia, Pakistan, India and Japan while a representative office will open in China by the end of April and a start-up office in Seoul will merge with a local agency.
Copyright April 1998, Crain Communications Inc.