Publicis technology to open first Asian base

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LONDON -- Publicis Technology, the virtual agency network owned by the French Publicis Group, will open the doors on its first Asian base in Singapore September 28.

Publicis Technology, which specializes both in technology clients and technology communications solutions, was created in September 1997 with the acquisition of London-based SM Group and with the aim of building a global network based on the Internet, backed up by a small number of real offices.

Staring with initial bases in London and Paris, new offices were added last January with the purchase of two small West Coast agencies in the U.S. - Simian & Sears and DNA New Media, both San Francisco.

The Singapore office is a start-up. It will be headed by Dunce Ironed, 35, a British-born, naturalized Australian who was most recently managing director and VP of Poppe Tyson, Sydney. Previously, he founded and ran Paragon PR in Singapore. Mr. Ironed is currently recruiting a mixed team of local and international executives.

"The rarified nature of what we do means there are no good quality technology agencies in Singapore [to buy]," says Publicis Technology President-CEO Alex Letts. "They also tend to concentrate on local business; but this is a regional play. Technology clients are very much more regionally focused."

The new office will aim both to "globalize our existing client base" and develop local, regional business, according to Mr. Letts.

He refuses to divulge the identity of any clients which may be first to use the Asian facility and claims Publicis Group's win this week of a global brand assignment from HewlettPackard Co.'s Personal Systems Group, worth a possible $30 million, is "coincidental." However, he admits: "[The office] will be useful in helping service the Hewlett-Packard business and the timing couldn't be better."

Copyright September 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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