Asian agency group ups rivalry with western multinationals

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BANGKOK -- Asia Link Advertising Corporation plans to enlarge its network throughout Asia to cope with the increasing demand for integrated communications services.

The association started 18 months ago to provide an alternative to the Western multinational agencies that dominate the region. The independent agency network aims to provide regional and local information and professional services to medium-sized companies from the U.S. and Europe moving into Asia.

The group of medium-sized agencies currently has members from 16 countries: Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates and Vietnam.

Ashok Nath, managing director of Basic Advertising Inc of the Philippines and chairman of Asia Link, says he expects agencies in Bangladesh, Cambodia and New Zealand to join the network soon. Nath also says Asia Link is establishing strong links with independent medium-sized agency networks in Europe and the U.S.

Generally each Asian country is represented by a single local agency. In Thailand, Spa Advertising Co is the network member. Nath says Asia Link expects combined billings of $550m for 1996, a 20% increase from last year.

Copyright September 1996, Crain Communications Inc.

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