Dentsu strengthens Middle East presence

Japanese media giant Dentsu is strengthening its foothold in the Middle East after it announced plans to open a second agency in the region based in Dubai Media City.

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By  Richard Abbott Published  January 8, 2006

Japanese media giant Dentsu is strengthening its foothold in the Middle East after it announced plans to open a second agency in the region based in Dubai Media City. Dentsu Marcom Middle East will be a local subsidiary of the network’s Indian operation and will be headed by chairman Sandeep Goyal. This latest move comes after Dentsu acquired a stake in Saudi Arabia ad firm Drive Communication, its first foray into the region. Dentsu Marcom Middle East will employ between 10 and 20 employees in the first year and wants to become a full-service agency. But it has ruled out plans to create a media buying unit, at least in the short term. Jun Nakano, senior manager, international management division at Dentsu, said it would be looking to exploit the potential for sports marketing in the region. “We think it’s enormous, not only for the advertising business opportunity but also for the sports marketing opportunity,” he said. In a statement, Dentsu said: “During a period in which interest in Middle East markets has steadily risen, Dentsu is on the way to establishing a strong foothold in the Middle East through interests in Drive Communication and Dentsu Marcom Middle East.” Dentsu, which made US$2.9 billion profit last year, dominates its domestic market with control of nearly 50% of commercial TV airtime but is largely unheard of outside of the Far East. Goyal is president of Dentsu’s joint venture partner, Mogae Consultants, and was group broadcasting CEO at India’s Zee Television until August 2002.

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