O&M Forms JV with Apex Communications in Chengdu

[November 10, 2010, Chengdu] Ogilvy & Mather China today announced the launch of Apex Ogilvy, a new joint venture with Chengdu-based Apex Communications, the leading integrated marketing agency in western China. The joint venture, which gives Ogilvy a majority share in the Chinese agency, combines the strengths of both agencies to create the most international of local firms, and the most localized of international firms in the fast-growing and dynamic western region.

Established in 1993 and acquired by WPP in 2006, Apex Communications has developed leading capabilities in brand consulting, location branding, digital and advertising. The largest agency in the region, Apex has worked with clients such as the Chengdu Municipal Government, Sichuan Toyota, Chinese spirits brand Guojiao 1573, Chengdu OCT Real Estate and the hugely popular Mengniu Yogurt Super Girl Contest, the mainland Chinese version of Pop Idol.

The cooperation will see the two agencies combining resources, knowledge and know-how to further strengthen Apex's key business offerings and push the agency to the next level of growth. Meanwhile Ogilvy is able to further extend its network into China's second tier cities and gains a wealth of knowledge and insight into consumer and business cultures in Sichuan province. The JV also expands Ogilvy & Mather's presence in Greater China to more than 15 agencies1 in 17 cities.

At the new Apex Ogilvy, existing Apex Chairman and General Manager Jianxiu Fan will continue to serve in the top role, reporting to TB Song, Chairman of Ogilvy & Mather Greater China.

Ogilvy's JV announcement comes on the heels of the release of The China Development Report 20102 which names Chengdu among a handful of cities tapped as central to the country's Western Development program. China's 'Go West' plan aims to achieve balanced and coordinated growth across the country by encouraging domestic and foreign firms to establish business operations in the region.

In recent years, macroeconomic developments in China have led to increased demand for more sophisticated marketing services, professional skills and digital capabilities in the western region.

“As one of the most important cities in China's western region, we have had our eye on Chengdu for a long time,” said O&M Greater China Chairman TB Song. “With the full attention of the government, global business community and clients shifting to support China's 'Go West' priorities, we believe the timing is now right to expand Ogilvy's presence in western China.”

“Chinese companies are placing greater emphasis than ever on branding and marketing because they are realizing the impact it can have on their bottom lines domestically, and increasingly, in international markets. With Ogilvy as our JV partner, Apex will be fully equipped to offer clients in Chengdu real access to the luxuries of a first-class global network - decades of experience, the world's best resources and tools, and most importantly, the sharpest minds and ideas in the global marketing community,” said Jianxiu Fan, Chairman and General Manager, Apex Ogilvy.

Apex and Ogilvy PR/Beijing recently partnered to launch Chengdu's “Global Search for a Chengdu Pambassador,” a wildly successful campaign that garnered extensive coverage in both the national and international press, effectively enhancing the image of the city. Earlier, the two agencies collaborated on another Chengdu city branding campaign following the devastating Sichuan earthquake in 2008.

1 Including O&M Advertising, OgilvyOne, OgilvyAction, Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide, Neo@Ogilvy, RedWorks, H-Line Ogilvy, ITop, iconmobile, The Brand Union, Red Wasabi, Ogilvy Auto, Raynet Ogilvy, BlackArc Ogilvy, Apex Ogilvy.
2 by the China Development Research Foundation under the State Council (launched September 21, 2010)

Apex Communications
TB Song and Matthew Fan - Apex Ogilvy launch

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Sarah Guldin
Corporate Communications
e: sarah.guldin@ogilvy.com
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About Ogilvy & Mather
Ogilvy & Mather (ogilvy.com) is one of the largest marketing communications companies in the world. Through its specialty units, the company provides a comprehensive range of marketing services including: advertising; public relations and public affairs; branding and identity; shopper and retail marketing; healthcare communications; direct, digital, promotion, relationship marketing. Ogilvy & Mather services Fortune Global 500 companies as well as local businesses through its network of more than 450 offices in 120 countries. It is a WPP company (NASDAQ: WPPGY.) For more information, visit www.ogilvy.com.

About Apex Communications
Established in 1993, Apex Communications is an integrated marketing agency headquartered in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, PRC. It also operates a branch office in Beijing. Key clients have included the Municipal Government of Chengdu, New Hope, Trimeresurus tea, Chengdu OCT Real Estate, Chengdu International Tourism Food Festival, Sichuan Xichan Plastic Surgery, The first cellar 1573, Sichuan Toyota, Chengdu Jinsha Site Museum and Shixiang Lake Ecological Scenic Area among others. Apex was also the agency behind renowned marketing campaigns such as Mengniu Astronauts Special Milk, Mengniu Yogurt Super Girl Contest, Chengdu‟s post- earthquake image campaign and the recent global search for a Chengdu “Pambassador”.

About WPP
WPP is a world leader in communication services. Through its operating companies, the Group provides a comprehensive range of advertising and marketing services including advertising; media investment management; information, insight and consultancy; public relations and public affairs; branding and identity; healthcare communications; direct, digital, promotion and relationship marketing. The company employs 135,000 people (including associates) in 2,400 offices in 107 countries. For more information, visit www.wpp.com.

Contact: Sarah Guldin
Date: November 10, 2010
Office: Chengdu