(Nikkei BP Group)
(No.1 High-Tech News Site in Japanese)
| Advertising Agency Hakuhodo to Digitize Ad Production
September 1, 1998 (TOKYO) -- Hakuhodo Inc., a leading advertising agency,
said that it will establish a special division for digitalization of
its entire production system.
|The company already has started a test of such a system.
A new division is making proposals for standardization of formatting
video and image data, which comprise materials for advertisements, storage/management
methods and data exchange methods through networks. It will discuss
such proposed methods for exchanging material with production companies.
Exchanging material and management of such material has been done separately
in the process, in light of industry standards. Agencies and production
companies are seeking to set their own method.
Hakuhodo works with about 3,000 companies, including production houses,
design companies and printing companies. Some of those companies digitize
a part of their work.
"Digitalization of the entire production process by standardizing will
cut costs substantially. In addition, it will enable us to choose the
most appropriate company to work with as we can compare the costs and
deadlines for specific work," said Makoto Yanase, deputy general manager
of Hakuhodo's Center for Digital Business Solution.
The new division is called Hakuhodo Power Lab, and it was established
in July based on its marketing design section and the Center for Digital
Business Solution as a system section. It started with a staff of five
full-time employees, 10 part-time project members and 20 engineers on
loan from other companies.
Power Lab is responsible for workflow experiments and technical verification.
Workflow experiments are applied to six projects, including newspaper
advertisements, leaflets and posters. Such experiments are intended
to create business flow through digitalization.
Workflow experiments are under the themes of "remote direction" and "establishment
of digital proofreading system" or "paperless proofreading system."
Remote direction goes along with production procedures while exchanging
information with designers and production houses outside the company
through a network.
The project is meant to help manage digital image data for multiple use
as "components" and emerging copyright issues.
Technical verification aims to standardize output color quality of ad
materials that appear different on various screens or printers, and
data formats for Japanese language fonts that are exchanged among companies.
Hakuhodo designed a digital pre-press environment including an image
processing system and input-output equipment with an initial investment
of about 800 million yen (US$5.6 million) upon establishment of Power
As for the communications environment, Power Lab has four ISDN lines,
and it plans to increase the capacity through asynchronous transfer
mode (ATM) links and satellite communications in one or two years.
(Nikkei Information Strategy)