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Hakuhodo expands Malaysian presence with Kingdom deal


By Sam Bradley, Journalist

August 2, 2022 | 3 min read

Japanese network Hakuhodo has acquired Kingdom Digital, a Malaysian creative agency based in Kuala Lumpur. The takeover, for an undisclosed fee, will boost Hakohodu’s creative offering in Malaysia and the wider Asia Pacific region.

The leadership teams of Hakuhodo and Kingdom Digital

Hakuhodo International has acquired Kingdom Digital, a Kuala Lumpur creative agency / Hakuhodo

Shuntaro Ito, Hakuhodo International’s president and chief executive officer, said of the move: ”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.”

Malaysia was the first country outside of Japan that Hakuhodo expanded into, back in the early 1970s. As well as Hakuhodo Malaysia itself, its B2B agency PMG and affiliate comms agency People ’n Rich-H operate there – though today it has much larger footprints in Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and Singapore. The acquisition of Kingdom will boost its presence in Malaysia, a country with a rapidly expanding economy.

Ito said that Kingdom will become ”a leading presence, further strengthening [Hakuhodo’s] digital capabilities in Malaysia”.

Kingdom was founded in 2007 and provides digital creative, social media and content marketing to brands in Malaysia and the wider APAC region. Its 160-strong staff serves clients such as Grab, Oppo and Mead Johnson Nutrition.

Vin Chinnaraja, chairman of Kingdom Digital, commented: “We have found the perfect partner in Hakuhodo for Kingdom Digital to accelerate our southeast Asia expansion ambitions. With Hakuhodo’s regional presence, we are able to deliver multi-national work for our clients and brands from day one.“

Hakuhodo itself now has a staff of over 10,000 across 20 countries, making it one of the largest non-holding company agency networks. The network’s corporate motto, ’sei-katsu-sha’ (’living person’), encourages marketers to think about audiences beyond their function as consumers and instead envisage them as “’ndividuals with distinct lifestyles’ – a sentiment praised by Chinnaraja.

“We are looking forward to combining Hakuhodo’s sei-katsu-sha insights with our innovative digital services like our digital creative automation platform to deliver hyper-personalized experiences for our clients and brands,“ he said.

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

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