TOKYO: Dentsu, the holding group, has signed a deal to become Facebook's "official representative" in Japan, a move indicative of the social network's efforts to enhance its position in the Asian nation.

Under the terms of this agreement, Dentsu's Cyber Communications unit will handle Facebook's advertising sales in the country.

Elsewhere, Dentsu is taking on exclusive responsibility for marketing Facebook's Premium Ads, covering areas including polls, events, "likes" and videos, for a year.

Dentsu's additional capabilities incorporate providing consultancy services for brands wanting to leverage the Web 2.0 platform, such as through building pages and applications, or driving word of mouth.

"Dentsu will be a valuable partner for us as we seek to support marketers in Japan to connect and engage with their customers," Blake Chandlee, Facebook's president and commercial director, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and emerging markets, said.

"Dentsu understands the unique social marketing opportunity on Facebook, and will work directly with brands here to help them create and implement campaigns that will impact their businesses in meaningful ways."

On its part, Facebook intends to share the latest best practice examples with Dentsu, while the latter firm can also propose new advertising models, alongside suggesting methods for brands to integrate social and traditional media.

"As communication styles diversify, social networking, which directly connects consumers to other consumers, has become a vital communications medium in the world today," said Akira Sugimoto, an executive officer at Dentsu.

"I believe that our collaboration with Facebook will play a key role in our initiatives to further strengthen links between consumers and corporations."

As previously reported, Facebook is attempting to gain ground in countries like Japan - where it opened an office in September 2010 - and South Korea.

"Japan is a very big market which we really have been working on," Chandlee told the Asian Media Journal in an interview last month.

Data sourced from Dentsu; additional content by Warc staff