Dentsu: We launch in Australia in mid-February

dentsu_logoAdvertising giant Dentsu has this morning offered the first clues to its intentions for the Australian market.

In an email sent from the US headquarters of its new unit Dentsu Network West which itself only launched last month, the company confirmed that it was launching in Australia with Toyota as the foundation client.

Although there was no information in the short announcement about potential partnerships with local agencies, there is increasing market speculation that Oddfellows – already on the Toyota roster – may be involved. The two agencies announced a strategic alliance two years ago. At the time a Dentsu said an acquisition could follow.  

Oddfellows tends to focus on Toyota and sister company Lexus’s less glamorous retail campaigns. However, at least one other independent agency – which firmly denies it – has also been mentioned as in talks with Dentsu.

As Mumbrella discussed earlier this week, Dentsu is one of the world’s biggest agency brands. If it looks to develop in the market beyond its global client Toyota, it could become a major player.

Today’s announcement – which says Dentsu’s Australian presence will be in Sydney from mid February – seems to confirm that its ambitions go beyond simply servicing Toyota.

The announcement said:

NEW YORK, November 25, 2010 — Dentsu Network West announced today that it will expand its presence into Australia in 2011 to provide support for multinational clients and forge partnerships with local Australian businesses.

Toyota Australia will be their first client, awarding them agency-of-record responsibilities for Yaris, Toyotaʼs most popular model in the subcompact car segment. Dentsu and Toyota already have relationships in virtually every corner of the globe.

“As a network, our primary purpose is to provide services that enable our clientsʼ success in any market they aim to reach,” said Tim Andree, CEO of Dentsu Network West. “Weʼve been interested in Australia for some time now, and are excited to be investing in this market.”

The new office will be based in Sydney, and begin operating by the middle of February, 2011.

When Dentsu Network West was announced last month with Andree at the helm it said its focus was going to be on North Amercia, Latin America and Europe. Headquartered in new York it had regional hubs in London and Sao Paolo.

At the time of posting, Oddfellows boss Ray Heckendorf had not returned Mumbrella’s call.


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