Yasuyuki Katagi, who is currently representative director, president and CEO of McCann Worldgroup and McCann Erickson Japan, will become co-chairman of McCann Worldgroup Japan alongside Hiroshi Namiki, currently representative director and chairman of Momentum Japan. All appointments take effect from 1 April.
Stationed in Tokyo, Cadell will continue to lead the region with the support of India CEO Prasoon Joshi and China CEO and MRM McCann chairman Jesse Lin. The agency sees renewed opportunity in Japan and aims to bring the market up to speed with the rest of the region, which has understandably grown at a faster pace than Japan in recent years.
“Japan offers our clients significant domestic and international growth opportunities, which we can help them achieve through this further alignment of our Worldgroup capabilities and investment in the market,” Harris Diamond, McCann Worldgroup’s chairman and CEO, said in a press statement.
Diamond said Cadell had “done a great job” regionally and “given our similar opportunities in Japan, I’ve asked him to expand his role and be based in one of our largest global markets to bring his regional and global client experience to bear”.
In a telephone interview, Cadell said that while the Japan office is large, growth against scale “is not what we’d like it to be”. The divestment of multinationals in Japan in recent years means the agency has contracted, he noted, but prospects are now good.
“There’s clear optimism in the market,” he said. “China has taken the lion’s share [of advertising spend] and while it’s still growing, it’s flattening. So we’re seeing multinationals re-looking at Japan and starting to reinvest. We see client need and political stability.”
Cadell said he will concentrate on bringing disciplines together more seamlessly for clients. As well as increased activity among foreign companies, he sees good opportunity to work with outbound Japanese firms, which are now investing more seriously in building their businesses in Asia-Pacific. As a multinational agency, McCann has an edge over domestic competitors in “being able to offer global best practice”, he said.
In addition, Cadell said the media landscape is moving from its traditional focus on TV towards digital. “I don’t know when the watershed will be, but there’s no doubt that Japan is about to change very fast from this perspective,” he said. “The investments we’ll make will be based on being a digital and data-first agency, bringing things together to offer a more unified plan with digital and social at the core as opposed to the peripheral. A lot of services can be brought in and best practice from overseas can be adapted and modified. The whole digital realm is set to change.”
As one of the largest foreign agency networks in Japan, McCann has historically stationed regional presidents in the market, including Michael McLaren between 2009 and 2012, and prior to that, Kevin Ramsey.