Press Releases

Ogilvy PR Forms Equity Partnership with PRAP, Japan’s Leading International PR Firm

Ogilvy PR and PRAP Share Vision of Importance of Branding in Japan

Hong Kong, China and Tokyo, Japan, January 23, 2002 — Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide has taken a significant equity stake in PRAP Japan Inc., the largest international public relations firm operating in Japan, which is the world’s second largest market for marketing and communications services. The investment brings together one of Asia Pacific’s leading public relations and public affairs networks with Japan’s second largest and fastest-growing public relations firm.

By Ogilvy PR estimates, Japan is Asia Pacific’s largest PR market with at least US$500 million spent on public relations services.

“Entering Japan is strategically important for Ogilvy PR,” said Matthew Anderson, President, Asia Pacific, of Ogilvy PR. “PRAP combines deep Japanese roots with the highest international standards of client service. Moreover, 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,” Anderson continued. In addition to representing world famous brands in Japan, PRAP is the first Japanese firm to set up offices and represent major Japanese clients in China.

PRAP’s close familiarity with Japanese consumers and brand-building expertise in Japan, as well as its reputation for crisis management – an area where Ogilvy PR has stood out in Asia Pacific – are significant elements that PRAP brings to the relationship. PRAP will also benefit from ties with the Ogilvy & Mather group and its advertising, corporate identity, direct marketing, interactive and sales promotion capabilities.

P. Miles Young, Chairman of both Ogilvy & Mather Asia Pacific and Ogilvy & Mather Japan, explained the value of the partnership for the group as a whole: “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,” said Satoshi Sugita, Executive Vice President of PRAP Japan. “We look forward to being a strong partner in Japan and China,” continued Sugita.

Announcement of the partnership marks the second major expansion of the Ogilvy PR Asia Pacific network in less than a year. In April 2001, the network took market leadership in Australia by bringing together five leading specialist communications firms. Ogilvy PR Australia’s focus and ability to attract talent helped it outpace the Australian PR industry, with double-digit organic growth in a tough environment for public relations and public affairs firms. In addition to moves in Japan and Australia, Ogilvy PR also became the first major international network to enter Vietnam, Southeast Asia’s second most populous country, when it set up an office in Ho Chi Minh City in September 2001. These initiatives helped the Ogilvy PR Asia Pacific network grow by nearly 30 percent in 2001.

With the PRAP partnership, Ogilvy PR’s network now comprises offices in 22 cities around the region, staffed by approximately 600 professionals. PRAP has offices in Tokyo, Beijing, and Shanghai and employs more than 200.

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About PRAP Japan Inc.
PRAP Japan is the largest international public relations firm in Japan, working for a variety of Japanese, European and American clients. PRAP is staffed by more than 200 people in Japan and China, including a wholly owned subsidiary called Brains Company. It is the fastest-growing public relations firm in Japan. The firm has strong media relations and consumer promotion capabilities, and conducts more than 100 media training and crisis-simulation training sessions each year.

PRAP clients include such blue-chip, international companies as AXA Life Insurance, British Airways, GE Medical, Hitachi, Levi-Strauss, Mars, Mikimoto, Nike, Pfizer, Sony and department store retailer Takashimaya. PRAP is ranked the second largest PR firm in Japan based on number of employees and has forecast annual fees of approximately US $15 million.

Major clients of PRAP in China are Toyota Motor, Hitachi, Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), Toshiba and JETRO. PRAP opened its Beijing office in 1997, and its Shanghai operations in 2001.

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About Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide
Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide was named “Agency of the Year” in 2000 and 2001 by The Holmes Report and PR Week respectively. Headquartered in New York, Ogilvy PR partners with clients throughout the world from its offices in 60 markets across the United States, Europe, Asia, Australia, and Africa and through global affiliate relationships as part of WPP Group, the world’s largest marketing communications company. Ogilvy PR has specialty practices in Corporate, Entertainment, Health & Medical, Marketing, Public Affairs, and Technology. Its Technology Practice operates under the Alexander Ogilvy brand; the Entertainment Practice operates under the B|W|R brand. Feinstein Kean Healthcare is the firm’s wholly owned healthcare and biotechnology subsidiary. For more information, visit the Web site at www.ogilvypr.com.