Integrated marketing and innovation company Hakuhodo has acquired digital creative agency Kingdom Digital to accelerate Kingdom Digital’s expansion in Southeast Asia. According to Kingdom digital, there will be no key personnel changes within the agency, and currently, there are no conflicting clients as well. Kingdom Digital declined to disclose the cost of the acquisition.

Kingdom Digital specialises in social media and content marketing, digital 360 campaigns, web experiences, and video production among others, with a wide portfolio of clients including Grab, Digi, Tohtonku, KyoChon and Mead Johnson Nutrition. It currently has a workforce of 160 experts. Meanwhile, Hakuhodo has offices in 20 countries and regions and a pool of 10,000 specialists globally.

Vin Chinnaraja, chairman of Kingdom Digital, said that with Hakuhodo’s regional presence, Kingdom Digital can deliver multinational work for its clients and brands. “We are looking forward to combining Hakuhodo’s sei-katsu-sha data driven marketing with our innovative digital services like our Digital Creative Automation (DCA) platform to deliver hyper-personalised experiences for our clients and brands,” Chinnaraja said.

Shuntaro Ito, senior corporate officer, Hakuhodo and president and CEO, Hakuhodo International said: “We are absolutely delighted to welcome Kingdom Digital, which is regarded so highly in the industry, as a member of the Hakuhodo Group at this milestone juncture. I’m certain Kingdom Digital will be able to contribute to our clients’ growth by providing them with sophisticated digital solutions in a Malaysian digital marketplace that will only continue to develop in the future. I look forward to Kingdom Digital being a leading presence, alongside Hakuhodo Malaysia, in further strengthening our digital capabilities in Malaysia and ASEAN.”

Meanwhile, Ryan Ong, CEO of Kingdom Digital said: “With Hakuhodo’s acquisition of Kingdom Digital, we will be able to draw on their infrastructure, creativity, and insights to continue deliver the high standard of work that we are known for. Most of all, both Hakuhodo Inc. and Kingdom Digital share the same vision and values and us coming together will broaden and deepen our services for all our clients.”

In 2020, Hakuhodo acquired the majority stake in Growww Media to reinforce its capabilities to provide integrated marketing in Taiwan, where many Japanese companies have a presence. The acquisition also aimed to shore up the group’s services in a wide range of domains besides advertising, including large event and exhibition planning and operation, the building of UX-heavy digital campaigns, and PR.

Separately, just last month, Woon Hoh, Hakuhodo’s regional chief creative officer, left after 17 years with the agency. He started his career with Hakuhodo in Indonesia and eventually rose up the ranks to oversee ASEAN markets including Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand. He also won a slew of local and international awards during his time with the agency.


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