Japan’s second-largest agency network took full ownership of DK, which has offices in Seattle, Los Angeles and Chicago and a staff of 125. DK's leadership will remain unchanged, with Paul Matthaeus serving as chairman, Don McNeill as president and Bill Fritsch as chief executive.
DK was founded 20 years ago as a digital content production and brand experience design agency, and has won a number of international awards including the Design Grand Prix at Cannes Lions in 2011. Its areas of focus include the development of owned media channels and brand experience design.
DK's core clients include Microsoft, AT&T, Bose and Boeing. According to Hakuhodo, acquiring DK contributes to its strategy of assembling various specialist marketing services companies to offer new, innovative solutions to clients. A spokesperson from Hakuhodo said it did not currently plan to set up offices in other countries, but noted that DK "does handle global clients, so is not active solely in the US market".
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The company will be managed through kyu, which is Hakuhodo DY Holdings' strategic operating unit, founded last year and led by Michael Birkin. The division focuses on acquisitions and partnerships outside Japan in markets such as North America and Europe. Last year, it acquired Red Peak Group, establishing a presence for the US company in Taipei. Hakuhodo's spokesperson said the acquisition of DK would assist kyu in its mission to develop new markets and would contribute to the growth of the group's international operations.