TBWA, Hakuhodo in Joint Venture

BOSTON TBWA Worldwide and Hakuhodo, partners on the Nissan account, today said they have formed a joint venture in Japan.

TBWA\Hakuhodo launches on July 1 with 300 employees, merging the existing Tokyo operations of TBWA and Hakuhodo\G1. Hiroshi Ochiai, CEO of Hakuhodo\G1, takes that title at the new shop; Gary Wenzel, his counterpart at TBWA\Tokyo, becomes COO.

Hakuhodo will own 60 percent of the new entity, with TBWA, a unit of Omnicom Group, owning the rest.

The companies have worked together since 1990 on Nissan—and in 2000 created G1 Worldwide to support the automaker’s global branding initiatives. (Nissan spent $870 million in U.S. measured media in 2005, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus. The client’s global spending was not immediately available.)

TBWA\Hakuhodo will handle Nissan (a current Hakuhodo\G1 client), as well as Adidas, Masterfoods and Haagen Dazs, all clients of TBWA\Tokyo. The merged entity also plan to pursue new business.

In a statement, the companies said it makes sense to combine their creative prowess, along with TBWA’s global reach and Hakuhodo’s media expertise.

“TBWA\Hakuhodo will be something very different and very special in this market,” Wenzel said.