David Blecken
May 13, 2019

Dentsu establishes a digital-focused media agency in Japan

Dentsu Media Runway will combine Dentsu employees and new recruits.

Dentsu establishes a digital-focused media agency in Japan

Dentsu has launched an agency called Dentsu Media Runway in the Japanese market, which it says is a response to the demand for “more specialised and integrated solutions”.

The company will have a staff of around 35, led by Katsuhiko Tsurumoto as CEO and Shigeyuki Kawakatsu as COO. It will start operating in July from Dentsu’s Tokyo headquarters. A Dentsu Inc spokesperson said the team will be made up of seconded Dentsu employees and “talented recruits from outside the agency”.

According to the spokesperson, Dentsu Media Runway was initiated to assist with various clients’ needs and will maximise Dentsu’s strengths in media planning and buying. While Dentsu Inc is already known primarily as a media buying agency, Dentsu said the new company aims to offer media solutions more closely in tune with digital technology and related consumer behaviour.

The spokesperson did not provide further clarity as to how Dentsu Media Runway’s services will differ from what Dentsu Inc already offers, but said the agency plans to work with a wide range of clients “including global corporations, digital companies and data-driven marketers”.

Asked what the name ‘Media Runway’ alludes to, the spokesperson said it was a "vague metaphor" based on the idea of close collaboration with clients and taking off together from a runway.

In 2016, Dentsu launched Dentsu Digital as a standalone company. In an interview at the time, the then-CEO Toshiya Ohyama said the move was necessary in order for Dentsu to remain competitive.

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