24/7 Launches in Japan

24/7 Real Media announced the opening of a new Tokyo office to expand its search engine marketing (SEM) platform in the Asia Pacific region today.

The company will initially focus on the SEM business via 24/7 Search and eventually phase in other components within its media and technology offerings, including its behavioral marketing solution and its ad-serving and analytics platform.

“We’ve always prided ourselves on having global reach and local expertise. Japan was the last major market in which we did not have a local presence,” said Jonathan Hsu, 24/7 Real Media’s CFO.

The company had 15 offices in 10 countries throughout the world, with Asia Pacific offices in Korea and Australia, the second- and third-largest Internet advertising marketplaces in the region. Japan makes up the largest Internet advertising marketplace in Asia and the second largest online advertising market globally, after the U.S., with revenues projected to reach $1.25 billion in 2005, according to a recent PricewaterhouseCoopers report.

“From a size and sophistication standpoint, it is a very attractive marketplace,” Hsu said. “The Japanese market is very advanced technologically and has one of the highest household broadband penetrations in the world. From the sheer size of the overall economy and the market itself, Japan represents the second-largest market opportunity for Internet advertising.”

The Tokyo office was launched through a relationship with the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), an economic development organization that helps foreign-based businesses establish operations in Japan. JETRO will provide ongoing advisory services and economic incentives to the company.

“In every marketplace, local culture, language, business practices are barriers to entry for a successful operation. We have a unique expertise to blend global reach and local knowledge and relationships,” Hsu said. “In Japan, as in many other Asian marketplaces, relationships and reputation are two of the key elements necessary for a successful operation.”

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