Deal Gobbles Up Largest Asian-American Network

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Bcom3 Group is creating a multicultural holding company called Pangea and is buying the largest Asian-American network, New York-based New A, which includes Asian ad agency Admerasia, as its Asian component.

Pangea will also include Bcom3's Hispanic agencies -- Bromley Communications, San Antonio, Texas, and Lapiz, Chicago -- and its African-American agency, Vigilante, New York.

Arthur Selkovitz, Bcom3's vice chairman and chief client officer, will oversee Pangea.

The name was chosen because the word "pangea" refers to the earth mass before the ice age, conveying a one-world feeling the new holding company was looking for. A Bcom3 spokesman wouldn't comment on the company.

Admerasia set up the New A network in February 2001. It includes Admerasia itself as well as interactive services company Cyverasia; aLanguage Bank, a translations business; and AAAZa, Admerasia's Los Angeles office, which was renamed partly in hope of winning competitors to Admerasia clients.

Before the restructuring, Admerasia was the largest Asian ad agency and the ninth largest shop in Advertising Age's ranking of multicultural agencies, with 2000 billings of $91.3 million. But the agency has been hit hard this year by the dot-com slowdown and major spending cuts by two of  its biggest clients, E-Trade and MCI WorldCom, and billings are believed to have dropped substantially.

Admerasia was started by Chairman Zan Ng, 45, who grew up in a remote Chinese fishing village and arrived in New York at the age of 18, working first as a dishwasher. He eventually became an advertising photographer and was inspired to open an ad agency after people kept asking him for advice about reaching Asian-American consumers.

Staff writers Lisa Sanders and Kate MacArthur contributed to this report.

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