TBWA plans joint venture with Hakuhodo

TBWA has approached Japan’s second largest agency Hakuhodo with a plan to form a global joint-venture.

According to executives in Tokyo, the venture would initially be used to service the Nissan client, which is Japan’s third largest spender on advertising after Toyota and Sony.

The two agencies are already understood to operate a limited joint-venture in Europe, though TBWA runs Nissan in most markets.

A worldwide joint-venture would have billings of $1bn (&£609m), and executives say it would offer a high level of integration and efficiency in the planning and execution of Nissan’s communications strategy.

TBWA Worldwide chief Michael Greenlees refused to comment on the situation.

Hakuhodo won most of Nissan’s business in Japan in 1992 and the car company now accounts for ten per cent of its billings and is its largest single client.

Such a venture would come in the wake of moves by Dentsu – Japan’s largest agency – to form an alliance with Leo Burnett and MacManus.

Both Japanese agencies have found it hard to expand beyond their domestic markets.

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