Hakuhodo, the eighth-largest integrated marketing communications firm in the world and second-largest in Japan, and Ketchum, a leading global public relations agency and unit of Omnicom Group (NYSE: OMC), announced today they have signed a strategic partnership agreement. The collaboration provides Hakuhodo clients access to a world-class public relations network outside of Japan while providing Ketchum clients the public relations services of a powerhouse in Japan.
With this affiliation, Hakuhodo will advance its global PR offerings in the areas of corporate and brand marketing communications, media relations, crisis and risk management, word-of-mouth, research, and corporate social responsibility (CSR) to support globally recognized Japanese clients. At the same time, through Hakuhodo’s long-established and well-respected public relations operation, Ketchum will strengthen its presence in Japan, a critical geography that rounds out Ketchum’s presence in the Asia Pacific region.
“Ketchum’s partnership with Hakuhodo will provide our clients with deep local market insight and expertise in Japan and a professional approach that harmonizes extremely well with Ketchum,” said Raymond L. Kotcher, senior partner and CEO, Ketchum. “In the run-up to this formal agreement, we have done a good deal of work together and we are confident that through our relationship we will be able to deliver on a world-class client-service proposition in that market.”
“Hakuhodo and Ketchum share a similar business philosophy and approach to client service,” said Junji Narita, president and CEO, Hakuhodo. “The timing is right and the fit is perfect. We look forward to a long relationship.”
Ketchum and its work with top global brands and corporations is internationally recognized, having won numerous industry awards. For example, in January, the leading U.S. marketing industry publication Advertising Age named Ketchum to its annual “Ones to Watch” Agency A-List, noting the agency’s long-standing client partnerships, digital and disruptive media expertise, and CSR and sustainability programming.
Jon Higgins, senior partner with responsibility for Ketchum’s international operations, will work closely with Hakuhodo as it is introduced to and provides service to Ketchum clients. Higgins also will lead the global collaboration efforts between Hakuhodo and Ketchum. A particular focus of Higgins will be to build the relationship between Hakuhodo and Ketchum’s neighboring Greater China operations, headed by Greater China CEO Kenneth Chu, and Ketchum’s exclusive Australia and Singapore affiliate, ICON International Communications.