New Dentsu CEO vows to ‘re-establish trust’ after taking over from scandal-hit Tadashi Ishii


Toshihiro Yamamoto: Aiming to re-establish trust in Dentsu

Dentsu has named its veteran senior vice president  Toshihiro Yamamoto as its new president and chief executive following the resignation last month of Tadashi Ishii.

On succeeding Ishii at a board meeting today, Yamamoto said: “My mission is to re-establish trust in Dentsu in Japan, and build a sustainable growth path for the long term.

“I believe it will become a reality with the improvements we are making to create a more flexible working environment where our diverse talents will thrive to help create value for our clients and professional fulfilment for our people.”

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Iflix confirms Pakistan launch 10 months after naming local GM to head operation

shahMalaysia-based streaming firm iflix has formally launched in Pakistan, 10 months after appointing a general manager for the market.

To mark the launch, consumers can sign up for a 30-day free trial.

Iflix GM Farees Shah, who joined the company back in March 2016, said: “We are incredibly excited to bring iflix’s world class service to Pakistan.

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‘It’s becoming an Internet TV world’, says Netflix amid record subscription growth

NetflixStreaming giant Netflix has reported its largest ever quarter of membership growth with more than seven million people signing up for the service in the final three months of 2016.

The firm had forecast growth of 5.2m but pulled in 7.05m, a healthy improvement on the 5.59m who joined in the fourth quarter of 2015.

Netflix said the increase was driven by “strong acquisition trends in both our US and International segments” although it acknowledged some of the growth may have been pulled forward from the current first quarter of 2017.

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Holding groups face fight for talent as Facebook and Google tipped to hit acquisition trail

r3Dentsu and WPP acquired 75 companies in 2016, splashing out US$3b in the process, with digital and analytic firms their principal targets.

A study by global pitch consultancy R3 revealed 80% of WPP’s 36 transactions were for digital and tech agencies, while Dentsu also brought in data and analytic expertise, most notably through the acquisition of US independent agency Merkle.

R3’s analysis of marketing mergers and acquisitions in 2016 covered 398 transactions with $14b changing hands, an increase of 150% over 2015. US acquisitions led the way in terms of number and value, 41% and 50% respectively.

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Digital publisher Mashable extends Asian reach with launch of Chinese language site

Mashable is to extend its reach across Asia with the launch of a Chinese language site.


The digital publisher will partner with Tencent to translate content into Chinese.

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Standard Chartered digital marketing head Damien Cummings leaves bank amid acrimony


Cummings: broken promises

The Singapore-based global head of digital marketing at Standard Chartered Bank, Damien Cummings, has left the bank in acrimony after accusing the company of breaking promises and of making poor decisions.

Cummings joined SCB in mid-2015 but his role has been made redundant “after a less than awesome time”.

He has launched a HR tech start-up called Peoplewave.

Writing on LinkedIn, Cummings, the former Singapore-based regional chief marketer of Philips, said it “isn’t one of those happy “I had an amazing time at my last employer” blog posts”.

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Probe into Dentsu overcharging scandal reveals catalogue of failures as agency pledges to take disciplinary action against executives

dentsuAn investigation into overcharging at media agency Dentsu has revealed almost 1000 financial and reporting errors, with 96 affected advertisers.

The company has vowed to take disciplinary actions against executives.

Dentsu listed 40 cases of overcharging to 10 advertisers – where the requested number of digit ads were not fulfilled – and more than 950 cases of substandard reporting.

Of those, 537 related to daily reports that “were not in line with advertiser instructions or expectations”, with some placement details incorrect “albeit without any impact on total digital posting numbers”.

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Study of award entries reveals tighter budgets and a struggle to achieve ‘brand purpose’

Warc logoBrands across Asia are being forced to re-think their marketing amid tighter budgets, with greater emphasis now being placed on cheaper channels, according to a new report.

It also revealed that brands, in the race to produce ‘meaningful marketing’, are struggling to link their brand to relevant social issues.

An analysis by ad research firm Warc into submissions for the Warc Prize for Asian Strategy found the number of entries working on budgets of less than US$500,000 almost doubled from 25% to 44%.

In addition, the number with campaigns with more than US$3m to spend plummeted from 26% of entries two years ago to only 9% in 2016.

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Hill+Knowlton Singapore MD Michelle Tham to oversee Malaysia operation as role expands



Prominent PR executive Michelle Tham has been handed an expanded role by Hill+Knowlton Strategies’ in a move to forge closer collaboration between the agency’s Singapore and Malaysia operations.

Tham, H+K’s Singapore managing director since 2014, will also now spearhead its Malaysian business following the departure of Justin Then after three years in the role.

Then has left to “pursue other opportunities”, H+K said in a statement.

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Singapore Tourism to build marketing college ‘to help conquer new frontiers’

Singapore Tourism Board has appointed marketing firm Brand Learning to establish a marketing college in a long-term plan to better promote the citystate around the world.


The college will be geared towards training STB’s 250-strong marketing team and helping them “deliver the exciting and ambitious new marketing strategy”, the agency said.

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