Simons Palmer has revealed that it is teaming up with Japan’s fourth
largest agency, Asatsu, for a 12-month period to ‘explore potential
collaboration’ between London and Tokyo.
The announcement, which comes after 18 months of extensive talks, ends
months of speculation about a possible deal between the two.
It is understood that Asatsu was initially interested in buying Simons
Palmer outright, but the London agency was not interested in selling.
However, a financial tie-up has not been ruled out in the future, should
the 12-month partnership prove fruitful.
The two are calling the deal an ‘exclusivity agreement’, meaning that
neither agency will work with another shop in London or Japan. Beyond
the 12 months, however, there is no commitment.
Paul Simons, chairman of Simons Palmer, commented: ‘Asatsu has been
looking to forge a relationship in London for sometime. This is the
intelligent and wise thing to do, to see if there is anything in this
for either party. It could be that we are poles apart, but it is better
to find that out rather than rush into anything serious.’
The move by Asatsu, which bills around pounds 1 billion in Japan and is
part-owned by BBDO, is a continuation of its European expansion efforts.
Simons added: ‘There is a very interesting future in East/West
alliances. Japan is great at building brand icons. The UK is great at
building communication icons. The combination could produce powerful