Hocus Focus: Japan's Dentsu Launches Internet Ad Venture With China's Hua Kuang

Dentsu, the powerful Japanese advertising conglomerate that once was a mover and a shaker in the U.S. marketplace, has turned its attention to China's burgeoning Internet advertising marketplace. Dentsu, which boasts itself as the largest advertising company brand and the fifth largest marketing and communications organization in the world, this morning unveiled a deal with China's largest digital media group, Focus Media Holdings Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hua Kuang Advertising, that will result in a new Internet advertising company in China.

The new, as-yet-unnamed digital advertising services company will operate as a joint venture, that will be majority controlled by Dentsu. Dentsu will own 67%, while Hua Kuang will own the remaining 33%.

Dentsu, which rarely takes minority positions in advertising services ventures, was last most active in the U.S. marketplace, when it helped Publicis take control of Bcom3, the agency holding company that controlled Benton & Bowles and other legendary agencies, that have since been absorbed into Publicis. The two agencies continue to maintain alliances and joint ventures in some key markets around the world.

Dentsu's new Internet advertising venture in China, meanwhile, will focus on servicing existing clients of Dentsu agencies in the Cinese marketplace, working in conjunction with Focus Media's Internet advertising operations.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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