The open-ended partnership will give ADK’s clients access to media planning and buying expertise and scale across the Asia-Pacific, including China, through the Maxus network.
For Maxus it signals a substantial increase in billings. ADK is the third largest full-service agency in Japan, and currently works with clients including Sharp, Toshiba, Uniqlo and Shiseido.
The ‘ADK+Maxus’ partnership will take effect this month, and will begin with the establishment of dedicated media planning and buying units within Maxus offices across key markets in Asia.
It will also see the introduction of an ADK+Maxus Asia Strategic Planning Centre in Singapore, jointly resourced by the two partners and focused on supporting multi-market regional Japanese clients and their growth ambitions.
“We are pleased that Maxus and ADK are able to leverage their assets for the benefit of Japanese marketers, who count among the largest in the world,” said WPP CEO Sir Martin Sorrell. “We continue to look for more ways to collaborate with our Japanese partners and to provide their clients with improved access to services throughout the world.”
The move signals a growing trend among Japanese companies to extend into other markets globally. Last year Dentsu announced plans to take over Aegis Group in a $4.9 billion cash-deal as it looks to create "a new global communications network for the digital age."
ADK chairman Koichiro Naganuma said many Japanese clients are now looking to Asian markets for growth. He said success in these markets requires innovation and new media expertise as well as scale to offer the best value.
“By establishing this new partnership we can ensure our clients will receive customised services from ADK with the scale and support of Maxus/GroupM,” he said.
Neil Stewart, CEO, Maxus Asia Pacific, said there is no fixed time limit to the partnership, adding that the initiative offered huge opportunities in the digital and mobile space.
“ADK is a large successful agency working for a number of very big Japanese clients,” he said. “They are now part of a much bigger team. The benefit to ADK clients is very apparent.”
WPP holds a minority stake in ADK, Japan’s third-largest full service advertising agency, with billings of $4,465 million [¥347 billion in 2011]. Maxus have already been working closely with ADK for several years in selected markets, including India and the Philippines.