Leo Burnett wins approval to operate in Vietnam

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HANOI -- Leo Burnett Ltd. has become the first foreign advertising agency allowed to do business directly in Vietnam.

The U.S.-based network has just received a Business Cooperation Contract (BCC) from the Ministry of Planning and Investment. This license allows Leo Burnett to work as a legal full-service advertising operation in conjunction with its local partner, M&T Advertising.

The agency previously operated a representative office in Vietnam that acted as a liaison between foreign clients and the local market. Under that arrangement, the agency couldn't conduct revenue-generating business in Vietnam or have direct contracts or dealings with the local media - the method of operation under which other agency networks continue to operate. As a result, foreign ad agencies are required to share commissions with companies that book media on their behalf.

Steve Gatfield, Leo Burnett's regional managing director for Asia Pacific, says the BCC is a "major achievement" for the company and its clients.

Michael Wood, managing director of Leo Burnett Vietnam, adds that the license will "help expand Leo Burnett's business base and investments within Vietnam and facilitate easier operations for existing clients."

The agency's client roster in Vietnam includes Procter & Gamble for the Camay and Rejoice brands, Kellogg, Foremost, AGFA, Pfizer and American Standard.

Copyright April 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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