NEWS: BBH to set up new agency in Far East

Bartle Bogle Hegarty is to make the most dramatic move in its 14-year history by becoming the first British independent agency to set up in the Far East.

Bartle Bogle Hegarty is to make the most dramatic move in its 14-year

history by becoming the first British independent agency to set up in

the Far East.



BBH plans to have its office up and running by mid-October. It is

currently weighing up the comparative merits of Hong Kong or Singapore

as a base for the new venture.



Simon Sherwood, the current BBH managing director who has been with the

agency since it began, is to relocate to the Far East to head the

operation in a move that underlines the importance of the office to the

agency’s future.



The new shop will not seek local business, focusing instead on cross-

border regional work. Motive, BBH’s media dependant, will be part of the

operation from the start.



Charles Garland, BBH’s group development director, will continue to

oversee the establishment of the venture until Sherwood’s arrival.

Sherwood is currently exploring the region with his family.



Martin Smith, the current agency deputy chairman and another BBH

stalwart, is to succeed Sherwood as managing director in London. Further

restructuring is expected when the agency moves offices within Soho in

May.



BBH plans to open its Asian office with business from existing clients.

It says it now has international billings of pounds 100 million, and

that 13 of its 28 clients require international advertising.



Nevertheless, the news will surprise many in the industry, who have long

speculated that BBH would form an alliance with an American

multinational, or follow Leagas Delaney and set up shop in the US. The

latter move is still a possibility.



Nigel Bogle, BBH’s joint chief executive, said: ‘The reason we’ve been

looking east, while many people presumed we were looking west, is that

Asia Pacific is top of the priority list for many brand owners for the

foreseeable future, particularly the high-added-value brands that

populate our client list. We believe BBH has something to give

advertisers that is not there at present.’



He added: ‘We are not saying we are not going to look west - it’s a

question of priorities and timing. What this isn’t, is the beginnings of

a network. It is about making what BBH does more available - one agency

in more than one place.’



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