Dentsu Inc. ( ja|株式会社電通 ''Kabushiki-gaisha Dentsū'' or 電通 ''Dentsū'' for short) is a Japanese international advertising and public relations joint stock company headquartered in Tokyo. Dentsu is currently the largest advertising agency and the fifth largest advertising agency network in the world in terms of worldwide revenues.


Dentsu was originally established as and by Hoshiro Mitsunaga. In 1906, Telegraphic Service Co. became . The next year, Japan Advertising Ltd. merged with Japan Telegraphic Communication Co., Ltd. to create advertising and communications operations. Japan Telegraphic Communication Co., Ltd. sold off its news division to Doumei News Agency in 1936 to change the company's focus to specialized advertising. In 1943, 16 companies were acquired in order to supplement Japan Telegraphic's advertising business. That same year, operational bases were established in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, and Kyūshū. With the 1951 arrival of commercial radio broadcasting in Japan, the Radio Division was established at Japan Telegraphic's head and local offices. In 1955, Japan Telegraphic Communication Co., Ltd. changed its name to Dentsu Inc. 1995 saw Dentsu creating five domestic regional subsidiaries. In January 2020, Dentsu acquired Digital Pi, an agency focused on B2B.

Initial public offering

Dentsu was listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange in 2001. During the initial public offering of Dentsu, in December 2001, a trader at UBS Warburg, the Swiss investment bank, sent an order to sell 610,000 shares in this company at ¥6 each, while he intended to sell 16 shares at ¥600,000. The bank lost £71 million. Dentsu's sales are more than double its nearest competitor, Hakuhodo or ADK, in the Japanese market, thanks to the company's origins as a media representative during the early part of the 20th century, producing the first newspaper advertisements as well as the first television commercials in Japan.

Geneon Entertainment

In July 2003, Dentsu acquired Pioneer LDC from Pioneer Corporation and renamed it to Geneon Entertainment, while its North American division, Pioneer Entertainment, was renamed to Geneon USA. On November 12, 2008, Dentsu announced that it was selling 80.1% of its ownership in Geneon to NBCUniversal's Universal Pictures International Entertainment (UPI), who planned to merge the company with its Universal Pictures Japan division to form a new company. The merger closed on February 1, 2009.

Aegis Group

On 12 July 2012, Dentsu agreed to acquire British-based Aegis Group plc in a cash deal worth $4.9 billion. The deal was completed in March 2013. Dentsu Aegis Network, managed all Aegis Media work and non-Japanese Dentsu operations worldwide. On September 2020 Dentsu Group Inc. announced that its international business Dentsu Aegis Network will operate under the dentsu brand. This simplification has seen three lines of business established across media, CRM and creative. The business is registered as Dentsu International Limited with UK Companies House in October 2020.

Corporate affairs

Project categorization

Dentsu Inc. categorises project markets in four different parts: National advertisement market; Advertisement-related market; New market; Foreign market (in addition to Dentsu Aegis Network, its overseas subsidiary, which operates in over 120 countries). National advertisement market consists of media projects. Advertisement related projects consist of marketing services. New market consists of sport events advertisement. Foreign market contains above mentioned three categories in the foreign market.

Dentsu Building

The Dentsu Building is a high-rise building in Shiodome, Minato, Tokyo, which houses Dentsu's corporate offices. With 48 floors that rise to 213.34 m (700 ft), it is the eleventh-tallest building in Tokyo. It was designed by Jean Nouvel, the French architect, and completed in 2002. It was built over the site of Tokyo's first railway station, and sits aside the Hamarikyu Gardens, formerly the site of a shōgun's vacation home.

Mount Fuji climbing tradition

Since 1925, Dentsu employees have had a company tradition of climbing Mount Fuji. Every July all new staff and newly promoted executives climb Mt Fuji. Employees who are not physically able to do so are exempt. A former employee gave the reasoning behind this as: "The message is: 'We are going to conquer the one symbol that represents Japan more than anything else. And, once we do that, it will signify that we can do anything.

Overworking controversy

In August 2015, Dentsu was caught exceeding its own 70-hour monthly maximum overtime limit. In December Matsuri Takahashi, a University of Tokyo graduate and 24-year-old female employee of Dentsu, committed suicide. The Japanese government recognized her suicide as karoshi. In July 2017, the company was charged by Japanese authorities for the death of Takahashi. No individuals were charged, only the corporation. The company admitted allowing illegal levels of overtime and was convicted in October, paying ¥500,000 in fines. Mr. Tadashi Ishii, Representative Director and President & CEO, notified Dentsu on December 28, 2016 that he will resign as Representative Director and President & CEO. His papers were sent to the prosecutors office because of the violation of the Labor Standards Act. Over a half century of ongoing overworking was documented by ''The New York Times'', including training materials supporting a Dentsu president urging working "''even if it kills you''." A 2017 attempt to encourage letting workers "leave the office at 3 p.m. on the last Friday of the month" did not get much participation. Also in 2017, a former executive creative director of Dentsu Japan has resigned from his own company following allegations he sexually harassed a woman during his tenure at the advertising giant.

Dentsu Group companies

Affiliates and shareholdings

* Madhouse (minority shareholder) * Vernalossom Co., Ltd. (minority shareholder) * Shibuya-AX (joint venture) * TNC (5.1%, minority shareholder) * Video Research Ltd. (34.2%, leading shareholder)

Outside Japan

* Lord Group (joint venture) * Collett, Dickenson, Pearce & Partners (40% shareholder)

See also


; Notes ; Sources *
Annual Report 2015
'. Dentsu 2015.

Further reading

* Kawashima, Nobuko. "Advertising agencies, media and consumer market: The changing quality of TV advertising in Japan." ''Media, Culture & Society'' 28#3 (2006): 393-410. * Moriarty, Sandra, et al. ''Advertising: Principles and practice'' (Pearson Australia, 2014), Australian perspectives * Sugiyama, Kotaro, and Tim Andree. ''The Dentsu Way: Secrets of Cross Switch Marketing from the World's Most Innovative Advertising Agency'' (2010) {{Authority control Category:Advertising agencies of Japan Category:Mass media companies of Japan Category:Mass media in Tokyo Category:Marketing companies established in 1901 Category:Dentsu Aegis Network brands Category:Anime companies Category:Japanese companies established in 1901 Category:Companies listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange Category:2001 initial public offerings