The management structure used by Ogilvy & Mather elsewhere in the world is to be imposed on its Japanese unit in an attempt to beef-up the shop’s presence in the world’s second largest advertising market.

The revamp will be led by Mark Blair, currently O&M’s director of strategy for the Asia Pacific region. He takes the newly created role of managing director, answering to Tim Solomon, chief executive of O&M’s Japanese operations including OgilvyOne.

According to regional chair Miles Young: “Mark will lead our Japan advertising business at a very crucial time for Ogilvy, particularly as we foresee significant opportunities for growth and new business. The job he is going to do is quite literally one of the plums in our whole network - and one for which we have high expectations."

O&M first established its bridgehead in the Japanese market six years ago since when it has made limited headway, mainly the provision of services for its multinational clients including IBM, Nestlé and Unilever.

Occidental agencies have found the Japanese advertising market a notoriously tough nut to crack, not least because of the stranglehold their Nipponese rivals have on access to local media.

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