WPP first western ad firm to invest in Myanmar


Ad giant WPP has become the first foreign advertising group to invest in Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) since Western sanctions were lifted. New York-based Ogilvy & Mather, part of the WPP group, said on Monday it had agreed to buy a stake in Myanmar's leading ad agency Today Advertising.

The move gives the ad giant an an early position in one of Asia's last frontier markets.

Today Advertising, based in Yangon, employs 60 people, and WPP's investment continues its strategy of "developing its services in fast-growing and important markets and sectors," the group said today.

With this acquisition, the number of countries in which WPP operates has increased to 108.
The firm, led by Sir Martin Sorrell, did not disclose the size of the stake, or any financial details associated with it.

Today Advertising will be incorporated into WPP's Asia Pacific region division, which generates a quarter of the group's revenues per annum and employs around 42,000 people.

The news comes as Hugh Baillie, Ogilvy & Mather's chief executive, is stepping down from the helm at the agency.

Baillie leaves the agency after two and a half years. Ogilvy Group UK chairman Paul O'Donnell will take over as the interim chief executive of the London agency until a replacement is found in due course.

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