Thai agency seeks foreign partner

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BANGKOK -- Spa Advertising Ltd - a medium-sized local agency and a subsidiary of the giant Osotspa trading group - is in merger talks with four multinational agencies based in the U.S. and Europe.

Spa's local clients have cut advertising spending by at least 20% since the beginning of Thailand's economic crisis a year ago. Spa hopes for a larger base of international clients and billings from the upcoming alliance.

CEO Jittima Pangsapa says she is talking with "aggressive" agencies who already have clients in Thailand, adding that the ratio of shares in any new joint venture is not decided.

Ms. Jittima expects to decide from among the four by the last quarter of this year.

Spa's local clients include M K Suki restaurants, the Petroleum Authority of Thailand, the Government Housing Bank, Robinson department stores, Worldphone and parent company Osotspa. Nokia, Toyota (corporate account) and Toshiba (fluorescent light account) are among Spa's international clients.

Copyright July 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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