Advertising Age (Ad Age), announced today that it has named TBWA\HAKUHODO as its 2011-2012 International Agency of the Year.
Tom Carroll, President and CEO TBWA Worldwide said, “TBWA\HAKUHODO’s recognition by Ad Age is the culmination of a successful relationship that began 21 years ago between two companies, TBWA and HAKUHODO. In a market that has seen numerous joint ventures of varying structure come and go, the results that TBWA\HAKUHODO has delivered since its creation just over five years, are spectacular. Congratulations to Ichiro Zama, Luis DeAnda and everyone at TBWA\HAKUHODO.”
Hirokazu Toda, President and CEO of HAKUHODO Inc. commented, “TBWA\HAKUHODO is a beautiful fruit from the amazing partnership between TBWA and HAKUHODO. I recall every step we made to this day and would like to congratulate everyone at TBWA\HAKUHODO. I am confident in their continued success as they are standing on the firm ground of trust and friendship.”
TBWA and HAKUHODO have a 21-year history of working together in a relationship that began in Europe in 1990 to handle the Nissan Europe business. In March 2000 the two agencies established a joint venture agency, G1 Worldwide, to support the global branding activities of Nissan.
In a market where international agencies are often viewed as outposts for vendors for creative adaptation, TBWA and HAKUHODO agreed in 2006 to establish a new joint venture company, TBWA\HAKUHODO. In the more than five years since the agency began operations, the agency has established itself in a unique and successful position among formidable and established competition.
The agency focused on how it could be better partners with clients by hiring diverse, international talent and developing an offer that allowed for conversations and responsibilities beyond traditional advertising – PR, event, digital, retail and shopper marketing, positioning itself to provide unique global advertising solutions to meet the needs of both global and local clients.
In selecting TBWA\HAKUHODO, Laurel Wentz, Ad Age’s International Editor said, “Ad Age chose TBWA\HAKUHODO as International Agency of the Year because we were very impressed that the agency was able to grow and do excellent work during an extraordinarily difficult year for Japan, and, at the same time, help their clients give back to the community.” Wentz continued, “TBWA\HAKUHODO helped P&G create the ‘Cheers for You’ program for Ariel detergent to provide clean laundry for people in shelters after being left homeless by the earthquake, and worked with adidas on marketing ClimaCool apparel at a time when Japanese were being urged to dress more casually to cope with little or no air conditioning as a post-earthquake energy conservation measure.”
Ichiro Zama, President and CEO, TBWA\HAKUHODO said of the recognition, “We are absolutely thrilled to be recognized by Ad Age. We focused on delivering branding solutions of international quality and scale to clients that have differentiated our offer, while at the same time combining best practices and resources available to use from both TBWA and HAKUHODO.”
Luis DeAnda, COO, TBWA\HAKUHODO added, “Most importantly, over the past five years, a culture has been fostered at TBWA\HAKUHODO. It is a culture of passion, innovative thinking, and the development of best practices. It’s a perfect balance of East-meets-West. The employees no longer think, ‘Are we TBWA or HAKUHODO?’ It’s simply T\H.”
For the second year in a row, TBWA\HAKUHODO was also named Campaign Asia-Pacific’s Agency of the Year, North Asia. Campaign’s Agency of the Year competition is now in its 18th year, recognizing inspired leadership, management excellence, outstanding business performance and overall achievements in Asia-Pacific’s advertising and communications industry.
Keith Smith, TBWA Worldwide’s President – International said, “TBWA\HAKUHODO’s leadership set out to prove that they could succeed while being held accountable for delivering results to both TBWA and HAKUHODO. Ad Age’s recognition personifies how far they’ve come in such a short time. The agency has built a highly creative, passionate and innovative team with a clear vision for success. We’re excited for what’s to come in 2012.”
Ad Age publishes the International Agency of Year selection as part of its Agency A-List report naming and profiling the most outstanding agencies based on their performance during the previous year. This includes the A-List of the 10 best U.S. agencies, plus an International Agency of the Year and U.S. Multicultural Agency of the Year. In 2010, Ad Age changed the process from naming an international network to one that selected a single agency in one country as an International Agency of the Year.