Acquisition of Fujian Effort Advertising

16 Jun 2004

Ogilvy & Mather China announced today it has acquired Fujian Effort Advertising Co., the largest local, independent advertising agency in the booming Eastern maritimes. The announcement marks what is believed to be the first time a multinational agency has acquired a local agency in a provincial, second-tier city.

Fujian Effort was a private company offering a broad range of services including advertising, brand management, design work, promotions and media. Founded in 1995, Fujian Effort is based in Fuzhou, the capital of Fujian Province. Following the acquisition, the agency is being renamed Effort Ogilvy.

"We are pleased to have Fujian Effort join the Ogilvy family," said TB Song, chairman of Ogilvy & Mather Greater China. "Fujian Effort was an obvious agency for our investment: not only is it the largest in Fujian, it is also respected for the strength of its client relationships, high-quality clients including the top local companies in the region and a team that is eager to improve operations."

Added Mr. Song: "Fujian Effort can provide more in-depth local insight to Ogilvy and our clients. At the same time, Fujian Effort and its clients now have access to world-class marketing strategies and creative ideas."

Mr. Li Guo Ping, chairman of Fujian Effort, commented, "By joining the Ogilvy network, we will have greater access to international standard practices, knowledge and training programs. We will also have an opportunity to upgrade our internal management systems."

The investment in Fujian Effort represents a major step forward in Ogilvy’s long-term provincial acquisition strategy aimed at assisting the group’s expansion into second-tier cities and surrounding provincial areas.

"China continues to be our fastest growing market in Asia Pacific and we expect it to overtake Japan as the world’s second largest advertising before the end of this decade," said Miles Young, regional chairman for Ogilvy & Mather Asia Pacific. "We also believe that the Eastern maritimes offer unique growth potential over the longer-term, and the Fujian acquisition helps us to establish a firm foothold in this dynamic territory while linking with our aggressive expansion in the Pearl River Delta to the south and Greater Shanghai to the north."

Mr. Young added, "Fujian province has the third highest urban income levels in China. It has a highly developed infrastructure and is a major destination for foreign direct investment. Fujian is the key to the Eastern maritimes – it has long been involved in crossstraits trade with Taiwan and is a strategic link between China’s two most developed regional markets – the Yangtze River Delta and the Pearl River Delta."

Ogilvy China is the largest marketing communications group in the country, offering advertising, one-to-one services, public relations, and promotions, with offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and now Fuzhou. Ogilvy China is a unit of WPP.

The value of the acquisition was not disclosed.