Publicis Groupe, number four in the global agency rankings, is mulling a joint Asian venture with world number five shop, Tokyo-headquartered Dentsu.

The announcement came straight from Mount Olympus – Publicis chief executive Maurice Levy. His group, he revealed, is already in discussion with Dentsu to launch a jointly owned agency targeting business across Asia with the Japanese market central in its sights.

Publicis inherited a 15% holding in Dentsu when it took-over Bcom3 a year ago. “We are only at the beginning, and it is a little early to be more specific,” said Levy. “When we announced the operation with Bcom3 and Dentsu, we indicated that one of our main objectives was to benefit the most from the position enjoyed by Dentsu in Japan.”

News of the venture came hard on the heels of Publicis’ first-half results, a roistering 18% uplift in earnings [WAMN: 10-Sep-03].

The Japanese market is a notoriously tough nut for Western agencies to crack. It is also mired in a deep adspend ditch, estimated by Dentsu to be 5.9% down year-on-year. 2003 marks the second consecutive year of decline.

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff