Unlimited Group has signed a strategic alliance with Germany’s Serviceplan Group – Europe’s largest independent network – and Japan’s Hakuhodo Group that will allow the three companies to offer a global proposition to clients.
Unlimited comprises TMW Unlimited along with six other agencies specialising in experience design, research, the customer journey, PR and health communications.
As well as Germany, where it was founded in 1970, Serviceplan has offices in 16 countries including China, France, India, Italy, Russia, Spain and the US. The UK and Japan are notable exceptions.
Hakuhodo, led by president and chief executive Masayuki Mizushima, dates back to the 19th century and has its greatest presence in Asian countries including home market Japan, China, Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand. It also owns agencies in the West, including UK-based Southpaw, which was part of a successful pitch for Honda’s European ad account last year.
The three companies have already begun collaboration on an unnamed pan-European pitch taking place this quarter.
Tim Bonnet, president of Unlimited, said: "We have had a relationship with Hakuhodo and partnership agreement with Serviceplan for a number of years and, as this grew in success, we are delighted to formalise this into a global alliance. We are really excited about the expanded offering and capabilities this will bring to our existing clients, as well as the agile, innovative and data lead offering we can offer new clients on a global scale."
It would help the partners make a "glocal" offer to clients and prospects, Serviceplan chief executive Florian Haller added.
The alliance will be led by Bonnet; Markus Noder, Serviceplan’s managing partner, international; and Ayami Nakao Pelata, Hakuhodo senior vice-president, director of branding. It does not involve any exchange of equity or cash at this stage.