David Blecken
Feb 14, 2012

BlueCurrent appoints Japan SVP as part of new strategy

TOKYO – BlueCurrent has appointed Hideto Hara (pictured) as senior vice-president in Japan as the company looks to diversify its areas of expertise.

Hara joins BlueCurrent from a marketing background
Hara joins BlueCurrent from a marketing background

Hara joins the agency from a marketing background at companies such as Coca-Cola, Electronic Arts, and Disney. His focus has been on the development of product launch initiatives and he is credited with turning Disney’s console gaming business around in Japan.

Tetsuya Honda, BlueCurrent’s managing director, said Hara’s appointment is part of a strategy to incorporate a stronger understanding of marketing into the agency’s activities.

According to Honda, Hara’s role will “feed cross border marketing ideas into BlueCurrent Japan’s main business turf—influencer marketing PR—and expand its PR strength to wider marketing business opportunities”.

Hara said his interest in BlueCurrent was sparked when working with the company as a client at Electronic Arts. The agency’s ability to target a select group of consumers was a major advantage, he noted.

Honda explained that the agency aims to retain that advantage through “social influence marketing” capabilities while developing in areas typically more common to advertising agencies, such as research and analysis. He pointed to greater recognition of PR’s role in consumer marketing in Japan and a convergence of PR and advertising disciplines, with clients increasingly requesting planning inclusive of PR from traditional advertising agencies.

Last year, Hakuhodo acquired domestic PR agency Ozma in a move to address the trend. Looking ahead, Honda said BlueCurrent will make less of a distinction between earned and paid media, the former typically being the territory of PR agencies and the latter that of advertising agencies.

In addition to hires such as Hara, Honda said, BlueCurrent will look to attract professionals from the advertising side to facilitate the transition. Hara noted that building experience across disciplines enables marketers to keep up to speed with the rapid pace of change in the industry.

The BlueCurrent Group is owned by Fleishman-Hillard and opened its first Asian office in Tokyo in 2006. Last year, the network expanded with the opening of an office in Hong Kong.

Source:
Campaign Asia

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