INTERNATIONAL: WPP reveals Ogilvy stake in Japan's PRAP

TOKYO: WPP chief executive Martin Sorrell last week made good on

his promise to grow the group's Asian business by announcing subsidiary

Ogilvy PR Worldwide's acquisition of a one-third stake in Japanese

agency PRAP.



Ogilvy is the number-three player in the Asia region, behind Weber

Shandwick Worldwide and Burson-Marsteller, according to PRWeek's 2001

Global rankings (PRWeek, 3 August 2001).



With income of £10m, PRAP is Japan's second-biggest PR firm,

behind Dentsu PR.



PRAP, which stands for Public Relations Asia Pacific, was also the first

Japanese agency to enter the Chinese market, and is seeking a public

listing in 2003.



Japan is Asia Pacific's largest PR market, with an estimated £300m

spent on external PR services every year.



PRAP, which employs 200 staff, was founded in 1970 by current president

and CEO Hisashi Yajima.



The agency has a strong international and local client list, including

British Airways, Levi-Strauss, Nike, Pfizer, Sony and Hitachi.



PRAP also added defence and aerospace group Boeing to its client list

last December, beating Burson-Marsteller and eight-year incumbent Weber

Shandwick Worldwide in a three-way pitch for the Japan brief (PRWeek, 7

December 2001).



The firm has offices in Tokyo, Beijing and Shanghai, adding to Ogilvy's

22 offices in the Asia-Pacific region.



On the need for a presence in Japan, Ogilvy Asia-Pacific president

Matthew Anderson said: 'Being in the Asian market and not in Japan is a

bit like being in business in the US and not having an office in New

York.'



Ogilvy has been dedicated to expanding in the Asia-Pacific region, with

acquisitions in Australia last April and the opening of a Vietnam office

in Ho Chi Minh City last September.



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