Ogilvy's Next 'Frontier': Buys Stake In Myanmar Agency


Calling it Asia’s “newest frontier,” WPP ad shop Ogilvy & Mather has agreed to acquire a stake in Today Advertising, an agency in Myanmar (also known as Burma). Until recently, the Southeast Asian country had trade sanctions imposed on it by many Western nations. Most of the sanctions have been lifted in the wake of Democratic reforms taking place in the country.

WPP confirmed the investment, but did not disclose terms, or whether it was a controlling stake or minority interest.

According to Reuters, the deal marks the first foreign advertising group to invest in Myanmar since the sanctions were lifted. The country has shifted from a military dictatorship that has been in place for 50 years to a democracy.

The U.S. lifted trade sanctions last week, following the lead of the European Union, which suspended most of the sanctions it had in place last month.



“Today Advertising has a great reputation in Myanmar,” stated Paul Heath, CEO Ogilvy & Mather Asia-Pacific. “We believe they are the perfect partner to work alongside us and our clients as the business potential of Asia’s newest frontier becomes apparent.”

Ad spending in the market is relatively small. Reuters reported the total for 2011 at just $33 million, citing ZenithOptimedia as the source. But with sanctions lifted, it is expected that future foreign investments will boost ad spending sharply over the next several years.

In the broader Asia-Pacific region, WPP said it now generates over $4 billion in revenues annually and employs 42,000.

Based in Yangon, Today Advertising employs 60 people. With the agreement, WPP now operates in 108 countries worldwide, it said.

Ogilvy also said it was the first international shop to set up operations in Vietnam, in 1994.

2 comments about "Ogilvy's Next 'Frontier': Buys Stake In Myanmar Agency".
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  1. Darrin Stephens from McMann & Tate, May 22, 2012 at 8:35 a.m.

    That reminds me, whatever happened to Burma Shave?

  2. John Grono from GAP Research, May 22, 2012 at 10 a.m.

    Let's go back to calling it Burma, now that the military government that renamed the country Myanmar in 1989 is losing its grip on power.

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