Hakuhodo (Japan)

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Hakuhodo is Japan's number two agency behind Dentsu, operating regional offices throughout Japan, as well as a network of subsidiary specialist agencies and other marketing services businesses covering just about every discipline. Until 2002 the company trailed behind its larger rival, less than half Dentsu's size. That year Hakuhodo engineered a merger with two other Japanese agencies, Daiko and Yomiko, to create Hakuhodo DY Holdings, a multi-brand marketing services group in the style of Omnicom or WPP, narrowing the gap a little (but only a little) with the mighty Dentsu. Hakuhodo has also added to its international profile with acquisitions of small creative agencies in major advertising territories, but here too it lags well behind its larger rival despite a long-standing global partnership with TBWA (to service Nissan). Indeed Dentsu's aggressive expansion into Western markets since has widened its lead over its rival beyond even pre-2002 levels. Hakuhodo finally set about launching its own expansion drive in 2015, acquiring noted international network Sid Lee among others.

Who are the competitors of Hakuhodo? See Leading Agency Brands Worldwide and Japan

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Hakuhodo website


Daiko Yomiko


Hakuhodo DY Holdings


Sid Lee Digital Kitchen
Nexus/H (UK)  

Recent stories from Adbrands Weekly Update:

Adbrands Weekly Update 12th Apr 2018: Japanese agency Hakuhodo took further steps to expand Kyu, the separate unit that houses its North American and European agencies, under the management of former Omnicom executive Michael Birkin. Not much has been heard from Kyu since it acquired Sid Lee in 2015. Now it has added Kepler Group, a digital agency in New York.

Adbrands Weekly Update 5th Apr 2018: Honda confirmed the appointment of Japanese agency Hakuhodo as its new marketing partner across Europe, replacing a collection of different agencies including Wieden & Kennedy and McGarryBowen. A new dedicated unit, Hakuhodo Collective, is being assembled to manage the business, with personnel drawn from its various existing operations in Europe including Sid Lee in France, and Southpaw in the UK.

Adbrands Weekly Update 9th July 2015: Watch out Dentsu, there's another Japanese marketing group on the international acquisition trail. After testing the water with a few minor purchases on the US West Coast, Hakuhodo DY Holdings, the #2 group in Japan after Dentsu, has made its first truly significant Western purchase with a deal to acquire the Canadian-based creative boutique Sid Lee. HQed in Montreal, that agency already has a presence in New York, Paris and Amsterdam, and will expand into Asia with assistance from its new owners. It will retain its existing management, but will be overseen by former Omnicom executive Michael Birkin, who runs Hakuhodo's Kyu division, which houses a handful of other rather less well-known US agencies. No terms were disclosed for the deal, but it's understood that Sid Lee's part-shareholder Cirque du Soleil will maintain a realtionship with the agency.

Adbrands Weekly Update 4th June 2015: Dentsu's domestic rival Hakuhodo took another tentative step towards building its Western presence with the acquisition of Digital Kitchen, which has offices in Chicago, Los Angeles and Seattle. The agency will fall under the umbrella of Kyu, Hakuhodo's collection of US agencies overseen by former Omnicom executive Michael Birkin. 

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