TBWA Hong Kong merges with local independent

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HONG KONG -- Omnicom Group's TBWA network celebrated a merger in Hong Kong this week with the formerly independent agency Thompson Worldwide Partners.

Peter Thompson, who founded the local agency more than a decade ago, says the need to have a real presence in China to service clients, such as Virgin Atlantic Airlines, Principal Insurance and the Sincere retail group, motivated him to join the TBWA network.

The joint venture is TBWA's second in Hong Kong, following last year's merger with Lee Davis. The new agency is known as TBWA Lee Davis Thompson and has combined billings of around $40 million.

Asia/Pacific regional director Keith Smith says the merger is one step in TBWA's major expansion efforts that began in this region only 18 months ago. At that time, the network had only one office in Asia, in Melbourne, Australia.

TBWA now has offices in Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, China and Hong Kong; is about to finalize a joint venture in Japan; and is continuing efforts to open offices in Malaysia, Thailand, and Korea. The network's Asian client base now includes the Hilton hotel chain, Royal Brunei Airlines and Nine West.

Copyright February 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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