By Greg Hazley
Omnicom’s Ketchum has taken a majority stake in its 22-year-old China PR affiliate Newscan.
Previously known as Ketchum Newscan, the agency becomes Ketchum Greater China with a staff of more than 200, following the deal.
L-R, Kenneth Chu and Betty Lo; Ray Kotcher, CEO and senior partner, Ketchum, and Jon Higgins, CEO of international operations.
Simon Dalby, head of Omnicom’s Diversified Agency Services, which houses Ketchum, called the China market a “critically important region.” DAS CEO Tom Harrison and Ketchum CFO Robert Lorfink will join the Ketchum Greater China board of directors.
Ketchum’s clients in the region include the China National Offshore Oil Corp., known as CNOOC, King Stone Energy, as well as the firm’s global clients like FedEx and Visa.
Jon Higgins, Ketchum senior partner and CEO of international operations, noted, "Every major client or prospective client places Greater China at or near the top of its geographic priorities.”
Newscan founders Kenneth Chu and Betty Lo remain as CEO and president to head the China region for Ketchum, part of Omnicom. Their Hong Kong-based agency has offices in Beijing, Shanhai, Guagzhou and Taipei and was founded in 1980.
Ketchum, like several large agencies, has increasingly looked overseas for expansion. Last year, it completed a merger with Europe’s Pleon and in October 2010 acquired Maslov PR in Russia, in addition to other affiliate deals.