WPP acquires stake in Shanghai Advertising Ltd

4 Nov 2002

WPP announced today that it has agreed to take a 25% interest in Shanghai Advertising Limited, a major full-service advertising agency based in Shanghai, China. WPP’s investment clearly indicates its commitment to the China market.

Shanghai Advertising Limited, one of the top 10 advertising agencies in China, which was established early in China’s advertising history, is the fully-owned subsidiary of Shanghai East Best International Group Co. Ltd.

Shanghai Advertising Limited has had a strong relationship with Ogilvy & Mather Advertising, a WPP company, for 11 years. In 1991, Ogilvy & Mather Advertising Shanghai, the first joint venture between Ogilvy & Mather Advertising and Shanghai Advertising Limited, was established. Subsequently, Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide Shanghai was set up in 1995. After 11 years, the Ogilvy Group is the largest communications group in China.

WPP’s CEO Martin Sorrell, summarized the investment as follows: "The Chinese advertising market is the fastest growing market in the world. Within the next 10 years, it is expected to become one of the top three markets. WPP has relied not only on the support of WPP companies, but also on direct investment. WPP will continue to increase its business portfolio in China and deliver the best service to our clients from every aspect."

Sorrell also emphasized, "WPP’s collaboration with Shanghai East Best International, Shanghai Advertising Limited and Hakuhodo, has turned Shanghai Advertising Limited into the first company with capital investment from China, Japan and the UK. With a unique multinational business background advantage, Shanghai Advertising Limited is confident that it can serve any client whether local, Japanese or Western."

Hakuhodo also has a joint venture with Shanghai Advertising, started in 1996 and called Shanghai Hakuhodo, with two other offices opened since that time.

This investment in Shanghai Advertising Limited by WPP is the first time that WPP has partnered with Hakuhodo.