TOKYO—Hakuhodo, the eighth-largest integrated marketing communications firm in the world and second-largest in its native Japan, has signed a strategic partnership agreement with global Omnicom-owned public relations giant Ketchum. The collaboration provides Hakuhodo clients access to an international public relations network outside of Japan while providing Ketchum—which is strong in Greater China but has no branded presence in other Asian markets—access to the resources of one of the market leaders in Japan.
Hakuhodo’s public relations operations offer a range of services including corporate and brand marketing communications, media relations, crisis and risk management, word-of-mouth, research, and corporate social responsibility.
“Ketchum’s partnership with Hakuhodo will provide our clients with deep local market insight and expertise in Japan and a professional approach that harmonizes extremely well with Ketchum,” says Raymond Kotcher, senior partner and CEO, Ketchum. “In the run-up to this formal agreement, we have done a good deal of work together and we are confident that through our relationship we will be able to deliver on a world-class client-service proposition in that market.”
Founded in 1895, Hakuhodo has 68 offices in 17 countries/regions, and more than 3,000 employees, but remains better known in the advertising realm than it is in the public relations business.
Jon Higgins, senior partner with responsibility for Ketchum’s international operations, will work closely with Hakuhodo as it is introduced to Ketchum clients. Higgins also will lead the global collaboration efforts between Hakuhodo and Ketchum, with a particular focus on building the relationship between Hakuhodo and Ketchum’s Greater China operations and the agency’s Australia and Singapore affiliate ICON International Communications.