BBDO buys Korean agency

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Seoul -- BBDO Worldwide, the New York-based network owned by Omnicom Group, has acquired a 50.1% stake in South Korean ad agency Dongbang Communications, which is changing its name to BBDO/Dongbang. BBDO hopes to better serve its international clients in Korea, although it must first seduce them into switching agencies. Dongbang already is the local agency for Visa and DaimlerChrysler -- clients of BBDO Worldwide internationally. But other clients that BBDO works for in many international markets, such as Pizza Hut, Pepsi and FedEx, have their accounts with other Korean agencies. "We'll probably persuade them to switch agencies in the near future," says a BBDO/Dongbang spokeswoman. In 2000, Dongbang was Korea's 13th largest agency, with about $80 million in total billings. BBDO does not plan to send any expatriate managers to Korea. Pacific Group, Dongbang's parent company, hopes the relationship with BBDO will allow it to build its line of cosmetics products -into a powerful international brand. It aims to become one of the world's top 10 cosmetics companies using BBDO Worldwide's network.

Copyright January 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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