David Blecken
Jun 1, 2015

Ogilvy Japan appoints former journalist as its first content director

TOKYO - Ogilvy & Mather Japan has appointed Abi Sekimitsu to lead content strategy for clients in a newly created role.

Abi Sekimitsu
Abi Sekimitsu

Sekimitsu is a former journalist who spent 25 years at Reuters in India and Japan, and later worked at Microsoft as managing editor of the company’s Japanese-language news content.

In a statement, Ogilvy Japan president Todd Krugman said her appointment showed long-term commitment by the agency to accelerating content solutions.

“We’re eager for clients across Ogilvy disciplines to benefit from her expertise, which will help them to grow their brands and ensure they stay at the forefront of their fields,” Krugman said.

Sekimitsu described Japan as “fertile ground for companies looking to revolutionise the way they engage” with consumers. In a brief telephone interview with Campaign, she said that while areas such as native advertising and sponsored content in Japan were somewhat behind markets like the US and UK in terms of formats, Japan's growing smartphone culture meant there was ample room for development, particularly in reaching more senior people with content.

She said messaging services could be especially effective as a content delivery platform and pointed to the trend several years ago for mobile literature.

"I think people are receptive to things that are not complete," she said. "Even before we had things like Line and Twitter, there was a culture of people communicating through small messages. Content does not necessarily have to be a big campaign; it can be published even when there is no news as long as we find something engaging. It doesn't have to cost a lot of money or be perfect, and is more journalistic than PR or advertising. I think in Japan before everything was digitsed, there was a liking for that sort of content."

While at Microsoft, Sekimitsu was responsible for the company’s website, smartphone and news app content. Having left Microsoft last October, she spent six months advising the troubled Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) on its overseas PR strategy, supporting foreign press coverage at the Fukishima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant.

 

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