Staff Reporters
Mar 31, 2022

Dentsu springs back to life, but APAC lags

AGENCY REPORT CARD: The Japanese giant came back to life in 2021, showing off strong creative output, but lost key talent in the region.

Dentsu springs back to life, but APAC lags

As the Covid-induced horrors of 2020 receded slowly and adspend improved, Dentsu’s overall performance in its fortress of Japan and in APAC too slowly came back to life. However, since this is Dentsu we are talking about, this resuscitation wasn’t without its share of drama, with the Japanese network losing its CEO, having its APAC head retire at the end of the year and enduring a raft of top management departures in key markets such as India.

When it comes to its creative side, chiefly Dentsu Mcgarrybowen (Dentsu MB) and Dentsu’s Japanese business, Dentsu was relatively frugal with details about its business performance, leading us to rely on its publicly released financial reports. At the close of FY2021, Dentsu reported a 16.9% increase in group revenue to hit JPY 976.5 billion ($8.5 billion), even as underlying profits went up 44%. While those figures may look great on paper, note that 2019 wasn’t a great year for Dentsu either.

How did we grade Dentsu? Our full report with the overall grade—plus scores and a detailed analysis of the network's business performance; innovation; DEI and sustainability efforts; creativity and effectiveness; and management—is available only to Campaign members.

Become a Campaign Asia-Pacific member to get access to all the 2021 Agency Report Cards and much more.

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