Publicis Makes Moves in Japan

BOSTON Publicis Groupe, which in recent months has buttressed operations in various regions worldwide, said it has made several moves in Japan to strengthen its position in the world’s second-largest advertising market.

The Paris-based holding company has consolidated most of its Japanese holdings (which had operated under the aegis of Publicis Japan) into Beacon Communications, a joint venture with its longtime strategic partner Dentsu. The move, according to the company, allows Publicis to offer clients in Japan a broader range of services, as Beacon will operate as full-service shop and be one of the nation’s 10 largest agencies.

Bertrand Siguier, evp, Publicis Groupe, said in a statement, “By joining teams at Publicis Japan with Beacon, we will be ensuring that clients have access to a richer and larger talent pool.”

Fallon Tokyo, which already employs 60 staffers, will absorb the L’Oreal team from Publicis Japan. That makes sense, Publicis said, because the L’Oreal account is creatively driven and Fallon has a strong creative reputation.

MS&L Japan, a Publicis-owned public relations shop, will now operate as a separate entity.

The reorganization in Japan comes a month after Publicis acquired a majority stake in Delhi, India-based agency Capital Advertising.

In fact, the company has spent much of the year making acquisitions, investments and strategic moves since closing in January on its $1.3 billion purchase of Boston-based i-shop Digitas.

Many of the buys have been in the digital space, including two Paris-based agency acquisitions in September: Wcube and Phonevalley. In June, Publicis added French digital shop Business Interactif, followed by Chinese interactive firm CCG in July.

The company also recently added muscle in European media (snagging Italian firm Muraglia, Calzolari & Associates) and made buys to shore up its medical marketing and consulting practices.

Publicis rival Havas made a move of its own in September, increasing its minority stake in Middle East luxury marketing network Chalhoub Group to a 50/50 split with current Chalhoub management. Havas said the investment was part of long-term strategic plan aimed at making the Paris-based company a player in the region.