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Dentsu Aegis Network

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Dentsu Aegis Network is the umbrella for all international operations of Japanese market giant Dentsu. It was formed in Spring 2013 from the merger of the existing Dentsu Network entity with newly acquired UK-based marketing group Aegis plc, whose biggest subsidiary was the worldwide media network Carat. Uniquely among the top tier of marketing companies, Aegis had for almost its entire history had no traditional advertising network within its portfolio, operating instead as a media independent organisation. Nevertheless, the group built up a collection of other interests over the years including the digital network Isobar and market researcher Synovate (later sold), as well as second-string media agency Vizeum. Its effective independence made the group a prime candidate for takeover from 2005 onwards. Several bidders made formal or informal offers, but the most persistent suitor was Vincent Bolloré, chairman of rival group Havas, who became the biggest shareholder in Aegis, with the unspoken goal of encouraging a merger of the two groups. However, his repeated attempts to win a seat on the Aegis board were rebuffed, and he eventually abandoned the idea of combining Aegis and Havas in 2011. Instead, the following year, Bolloré gave his support to a proposed takeover of Aegis by Dentsu for up to £3.2bn.

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Dentsu Aegis Network

Recent stories from Adbrands Weekly Update:

Adbrands Weekly Update 23rd November 2017: Australia's once-mighty Mitchell & Partners media brand has finally been consigned to history. Dentsu Aegis Network announced the rebranding of what has most recently been known as Dentsu Mitchell as the local arm of its recently launched dentsu x international network, operating across multiple markets in Asia and Europe alongside sister networks Carat and Vizeum. Independent agency Mitchell & Partners became Australia's biggest media agency in the 1990s, and in 2008 was the first ever to top billings of A$1bn. Two years later it was acquired by Aegis, and many of its biggest clients were transferred across to that group's own Carat network. The gradual down-scaling of Mitchells continued following the acquisition in turn of Aegis by Dentsu in 2013 and the departure of original founder Harold Mitchell and his son Stuart.

Adbrands Weekly Update 2nd Nov 2017: Stef Calcraft, Mother's co-founder and former managing partner, was named as executive chairman of Dentsu Aegis Network UK & Ireland, overseeing the local operations of Carat, Vizeum, Isobar, McGarryBowen and other brands. Calcraft stepped down from Mother two years ago.

Adbrands Weekly Update 25th Oct 2017: Dentsu Aegis Network is taking its first steps into South Africa's creative advertising community with a deal to acquire local independent FoxP2 for an undisclosed sum. The deal is subject to regulatory approval. "FoxP2 has declined many approaches from global advertising networks over the last decade," said FoxP2 CEO Charl Thom. "We never wanted to be another arrow in a quiver but, given the fact that Dentsu Aegis Network does not have a creative agency in South Africa, the opportunity for us as entrepreneurial founders to retain a meaningful stake in the business and, most importantly, the opportunity to truly stretch and improve our offering to our clients, made this a natural next step in FoxP2’s evolution." Clients include Diageo, Hyundai and First National Bank.

Adbrands Weekly Update 21st Sep 2017: In the latest salvo in the industry-wide media transparency war, ridehailing service Uber issued a lawsuit against mobile media agency Fetch, a unit of Dentsu Aegis Network, alleging the company misrepresented the effectiveness of its mobile ads, failed to curb ad fraud and didn't pass on rebates it had negotiated with different mobile ad networks. The relationship between the two companies broke down earlier this year after Uber stopped paying Fetch's invoices. "With Fetch, we learned the age-old lesson 'buyer beware' the hard way," said Uber. "Fetch was running a wild west of online advertising fraud, allowing Uber ads on websites we wanted nothing to do with, and fraudulently claiming credit for app downloads that happened without a customer ever clicking on an ad." Uber is seeking around $40m in damages. For its part, Fetch strongly denies the allegations, which are, it said, "unsubstantiated, completely without merit, and purposefully inflammatory so as to draw attention away from Uber's unprofessional behaviour and failure to pay suppliers."

Adbrands Weekly Update 17th Nov 2016: Dentsu Aegis Network's shopping spree continued with the acquisition of Gravity Media, the New York multicultural agency founded and run by Yuriy Boykiv. The deal also covers Gravity's parent entity Findr Group which also owns two digital marketing and social media units. Boykiv will continue to run the business, reporting to DAN US CEO Rob Horler.

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