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Full-service Korea

Holmes Report

Korea’s thriving PR market has long been a magnet for innovation in Asia, with 10-year-old Prain representing one of the country’s leading local lights.

The agency reported revenues of $13 million in 2009, a healthy increase over its 2008 total of $10 million, making it one of the biggest players in Korea. For this, Prain can thank an outlook that places a premium on knowledge management and a highly collaborative culture.

Founded by Jason Yeo, the agency is run day-to-day by Sungbong Lee a veteran of Korea’s in-house client environment. Other key staff include EVPs Wooyoung Choi and Jisun Lee. In late 2009, Prain hired another EVP in Sungbin Jang, and issues management public affairs expert who previously spent eight years as head of corporate relations at Visa Asia-Pacific.

Over the past 12 months, important achievements include the agency’s work for ‘Festa on Ice’, an account it has won for four years in a row. In addition, the agency won the high-profile pitch to handle PR around the G20 Summit, which will take place in Korea in November 2010. Growth also came from increased healthcare and pharma business, from such clients as MSD, Novartis and Janssen.
Prain boasts a client roster that few Korean agencies can compete with, including a string of public sector accounts and blue-chip brands such as HP, Samsung, SK Telecom, Hite Beer, Danone, Nike and NBA Asia. In 2009, the agency also won new business from Johnson & Johnson, Henkel Korea, Philips and Nivea.

Prain recently inked a deal to become Ketchum’s exclusive affiliate in Korea, representing something of a coup for the Omnicom agency.—AS


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