Publicis expands in Malaysia, Pakistan, China

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PARIS--Publicis, the world's 13th largest advertising organization, has acquired agencies in Malaysia and Pakistan, bringing to 17 the number of countries in Asia where the network is represented via 29 agencies. The Paris-based network recently expanded to Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, South Korea, Thailand and throughout Indochina.

Publicis Chairman Maurice Levy says of the expansion: "The current situation in Asia provides Publicis with an exceptional opportunity to extend and reinforce our presence in the region through relationships with outstanding agencies on the basis of attractive financial conditions and with little exposure."

In Malaysia, Publicis is buying Wet Desert, which will be called Publicis-Wet Desert. The agency claimed billings of $18 million last year and with 120 employ- ees is one of Maylasia's larger agencies. Jeanet Yeo remains as director and a stockholder in the agency. The Kuala Lumpur-based agency includes three advertising units--Union 45, Angsana and Adsell--as well as specialized agencies in direct marketing, design and PR. Clients include gasoline company Caltex, Citibank, Visa, L'Oreal and Nestle.

In Pakistan, Publicis is taking a 60% stake in Headstart, which will now take the name Publicis. The Lahore-based agency's clients include the Coca-Cola Co., Volvo Trucks and Nestle.

Publicis has also announced representation agreements that could lead to capital participation in agencies in Hong Kong and elsewhere in China. Publicis has joined with Ad Link, which has offices in Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Guangjou (Canton) and Changdu.

Copyright October 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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