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O&M moves into Pakistan

6 March, 2007

O&M has announced that it is establishing operations in Pakistan under its own name, ownership and management. Emerging from a twenty year affiliation with the leading Pakistani communications group, Interflow Communications, O&M Pakistan has acquired part of the advertising business of this affiliate. After acquiring the previous Interflow offices in Lahore, O&M Pakistan will move into new premises in Karachi.

The agency’s foundation clients will include Nestlé, Unilever, British American Tobacco, the Dubai Investment Bank, and Total, along with some local clients. Shakeel Khokar has assumed the role of Chief Executive Officer. Mr Khokar’s career in advertising spans Interflow, McCann Erickson, Asiatic (JWT), and Standard Chartered Bank.

“This new Pakistan agency will hit the ground running”, says Miles Young, Chairman of Ogilvy & Mather Asia Pacific. “Very infrequently does one have a chance to set up a new agency with blue chip local and multinational clients like this. The heritage of Interflow has really been “Ogilvy without David”, and so the people and culture which are moving into our care are very familiar to us. The opportunity will be to grow from this very high base, and – I believe – to lead the market by example.”

Pakistan’s adex is amongst the most buoyant in Asia, growing by around 25% pa. The economy has registered growth of 7% enabling it to join the exclusive club of the fastest growing economies in the Asia region. This year foreign investment will be the highest in Pakistan's history, at close to $3 billion.

Mr Young commented, “There is no country in the world where the gap between external perception and reality is so extreme. This is a happening market – a new tiger, offering an attractive growth opportunity for our clients – and also for a new generation of “Pak-brands”. Positioned between the Gulf and the rest of Asia it also presents us with interesting opportunities as a strategic bridge between these two fast growth zones. And, in a world where 30% of consumers will be Islamic in faith, by the year 2014, it will complement our very strong positions in Indonesia and Malaysia.

‘Of course, when considered along with our Indian and Bangladesh operations, we have a strong foundation for our South Asia presence and strategy.”

Taher A. Khan added that the Interflow Group enjoys over a two decade relationship with Ogilvy & Mather and that the new venture is proof of their belief and confidence in the group.

Interflow will continue to operate on its own account in Pakistan with its own clients. Taher Khan will be a shareholder in O&M Pakistan and both Interflow and Taher Khan will continue to be WPP's partners in Mindshare Pakistan.

Acrobat Document OM_PressRelease_MoveintoPakistan_mar07_guidd6711bf.pdf

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