Staff Reporters
Apr 15, 2020

Taking stock of Dentsu in 2019 leaves a bitter taste

AGENCY REPORT CARD: See Dentsu's overall grade and our detailed report breaking down its 2019 performance in terms of leadership, creativity, innovation, business growth, and people/diversity initiatives.

Dentsu's Nikkei stock market-linked coffee blend
Dentsu's Nikkei stock market-linked coffee blend

Last year we suggested Dentsu could benefit from transferring more innovative ideas from its Japan headquarters to the rest of Asia-Pacific. This year Dentsu set out to do it even more ambitiously than we imagined, producing everything from a new Japanimation Studio, to a printable sushi bar to an AI-based ‘tuna scope’ to better judge a fish’s quality.

But if we ran the scope over the agency we would see some bruising. The network struggled in Australia and China and its restructuring on the path to create 'One Dentsu' involved many management exits.

Between the hunt for new business, the scrutiny of award shows and attempts to change workplace culture, how well did Dentsu respond to the many challenges it faced in APAC in 2019?

Check out Dentsu's Agency Report Card now to see:

  • The agency's overall grade for 2019
     
  • Grades and detailed discussion of performance across five categories:
     
  • Leadership: A qualitative assessment of leadership performance, key regional decisions, management stability and contributions to industry by agency leaders.
  • Creativity: Compelling and effective campaign work, judged qualitatively. Regional and global awards recognition is included, with higher weighting given to wins at major shows. Work demonstrative of high effectiveness for clients is also considered.
  • Innovation: A qualitative assessment of Asia-based initiatives and innovations based on their improvements to the agency, people, clients and industry.
  • Business growth: Assessed by the value of accounts won and lost in 2019, as calculated by the agencies and R3’s New Business League, published in Campaign Asia-Pacific, along with recognition of new project work and organic growth through retained clients. 
  • People and diversity: Agency efforts to attract, retain and develop a high calibre of talent with a commitment to staff diversity and wellbeing are examined qualitatively.
     
  • The grade the agency gave itself, and why
     
  • How the agency performed versus its 2018 scores
     
  • The agency's self-declared areas of specialisation.

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