Colby Forms Far East Marketing Unit

LOS ANGELES Colby & Partners said it has created an Asian American marketing division and hired a creative director to service the Chinese, Korean and Japanese segments.

Naoto Ishikawa, 48, will lead creative for the new division. Ishikawa, who was previously vp and creative director at PanCom International in Los Angeles, has nearly a decade of experience in Asian American markets, working on accounts such as Ford, SBC and UPS.

“We are a Dentsu agency,” said Charlie Sano, evp of Colby in Santa Monica, Calif. “We’ve been doing Japanese media work here and some creative, and we decided to expand more into Chinese and Korean. The Asian market is fast-growing and we get a lot of requests from clients.”

Six of Colby’s nearly 80 employees will be dedicated to the Asian American marketing division, Sano said. Its clients include the newly acquired Japan Airlines, as well as Japanese beverage company Calpis and House Foods America Corp., maker of tofu.

Those accounts represent $3-4 million in combined billings, Sano said. Colby claims overall billings of $190 million.