Ogilvy Makes Move in Japan, Acquires Stake in PRAP
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Ogilvy Makes Move in Japan, Acquires Stake in PRAP

Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide has taken what it describes as “a significant equity stake” in PRAP Japan, one of the largest international public relations firms operating in Japan.

Paul Holmes

TOKYO, January 23—Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide has taken what it describes as “a significant equity stake” in PRAP Japan, one of the largest international public relations firms operating in Japan.
 
By Ogilvy estimates, Japan is Asia Pacific’s largest PR market with at least US$500 million spent on public relations services.
 
PRAP has more than 200 people in Japan and China, including a wholly owned subsidiary called Brains Company, and is the second largest firm in the market with fees of around $15 million. Clients include blue chip, international companies such as British Airways, GE Medical, Hitachi, Levi-Strauss, Mars, Nike, Pfizer, and Sony. In China, the firm works for Toyota Motor, Hitachi, the Japan Bank for International Cooperation, Toshiba and JETRO.
 
“Entering Japan is strategically important for Ogilvy PR,” says Matthew Anderson, president of the firm’s Asia Pacific operations. “PRAP combines deep Japanese roots with the highest international standards of client service.”
 
Andersen says Ogilvy will benefit with PRAP’s familiarity with Japanese consumers and its brand building expertise in Japan, as well as its experience in the crisis management arena. PRAP, meanwhile, will benefit from Ogilvy’s ties to Ogilvy & Mather and access to resources in advertising, corporate identity, direct marketing, interactive, and sales promotion.
 
PRAP is also the first Japanese firm to set up offices and represent major Japanese clients in China, and Anderson says “Both Ogilvy and PRAP share common views about the importance of branding and how China will continue to develop as a major market for PR services.”
 
Adds Miles Young, chairman of Ogilvy & Mather Asia Pacific and Ogilvy & Mather Japan, “In the last few years, we have built a new style communications business in Japan, based on a belief in branding. Our investment in PRAP represents the next stage in that process, and gives us the ability to provide the highest quality public relations services in Japan.  It rounds out our ability to give 360-degree branding solutions to clients, which has been a major driver in Ogilvy & Mather's global success.”
 
“We have worked closely with Ogilvy PR during the last year and have been impressed at how well the network performs and how quickly Ogilvy PR’s leadership rallies around strategic initiatives,” says Satoshi Sugita, executive vice president of PRAP Japan.
 
The partnership is the second major expansion of Ogilvy’s Asia Pacific network in the last 12 months. In April 2001, the network brought together five leading specialist communications firms to become a market leader in Australia. It also became the first major international firm to enter Vietnam, Southeast Asia’s second most populous country, when it set up an office in Ho Chi Minh City in September 2001.
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