(Refiles to correct syntax and drop word “advertising” as descriptor for Palco Group in paragraph 3)
LONDON, July 2 (Reuters) - WPP, the world’s biggest advertising group, is to appoint an executive in Cuba, saying on Thursday it would be the first major international communications services group to conduct business on the Communist-ruled island.
The move comes a day after the United States and Cuba formally agreed to restore diplomatic relations on July 20, setting up a trip to Havana by John Kerry, who would become the first U.S. secretary of state to visit the country in 70 years.
WPP, which is parent to the Ogilvy & Mather and J. Walter Thomson advertising networks and already generates group revenue of $1.6 billion in Latin America, said it has signed a contract with state-owned firm Palco Group under which it will base an executive in Havana.
The company said it had been in contact with a number of Cuban agencies and enterprises since February and had maintained contacts with Cuban and international firms to provide its services from a local base in the near future. (Reporting by Li-mei Hoang; Editing by David Holmes)