TOKYO — WPP is merging its PR operations in Japan, merging Ogilvy's PR operations and H+K Strategies under the BCW brand in the country.

The move comes less than 18 months since Ogilvy merged with H+K in Japan, although the two brands have continued to operate in the country since then via a combined management team.

From January 1, however, all three firms will operate under the BCW brand, led by MD and market leader Tsuyoshi Takemura. Ogilvy PR & Influence and H+K Strategies will maintain separate legal entities and "secure structures" where potential conflicts exist.

"Japan is a critical market for clients building their businesses in Asia Pacific and globally,"said BCW global CEO Donna Imperato. "With this integration, BCW becomes a one-stop communications shop for WPP network clients in Japan. The union of the deep talent and expertise of BCW, Ogilvy PR&I and H+K creates a team unmatched in its ability to compete in the market by creating innovative solutions for clients that truly move people and deliver measurable business impact."

All staff will co-locate in the same office beginning in Q2 2020. Takemura reports to Matt Stafford, BCW Asia Pacific president.

BCW has also hired Hongdi You as digital director for Japan, responsible for enhancing the agency’s digital and social capabilities and bridging those of the combined team. You joins from Bytedance, where she worked as marketing manager, overseeing TikTok Japan’s brand expansion strategy in the market. She previously worked at balconia Shanghai, MISUMI Corporation, Reed Exhibitions and Novartis Pharma.

You will report to Takemura, with a dotted line to Joe Peng BCW's head of digital innovation, Asia-Pacific.