Procter & Gamble (P&G) is to split its Japan media planning business between Carat (part of Dentsu Aegis Network) and a partnership between Omnicom Media Group and Hakuhodo. The decision follows an eight-month pitch process.
A spokesperson from P&G, Noriyuki Endo, confirmed the news and said the new structure will take effect from February. The account was previously held by MediaCom in partnership with Dentsu. P&G has worked with Dentsu for around 30 years in Japan, and Endo said it would continue to work with Dentsu for TV media buying.
It is understood that Omnicom will set up a joint venture with Hakuhodo to manage the account, and that Japan will become the Asian launch market for Omnicom’s new media agency network, Hearts & Science. The operation launched in the US in April 2016 and has since set up offices in Canada, the UK and Puerto Rico.
Sources close to the matter have indicated that Omnicom and Hakuhodo will take control of around half the business, but Endo was unable to confirm the size of the account or how it will be split due to company policy.
Endo denied that the move was related to concerns over Dentsu’s recent admission that it overcharged clients in the digital space, and sought to emphasise that P&G will retain a relationship with Dentsu through Carat as one of the two principle agencies it will work with in the market.
This article has been updated.