Dentsu’s profit growth has slowed to 3.1 per cent in the first quarter of 2017 as the US stuttered to a halt, with growth of just 0.6 per cent.
Media buying arm Dentsu Aegis Network (which owns Carat) was once again the strongest performer although it has suffered a number of reverses in the UK and Europe recently, losing Asda and British Airways.
All the holding companies have suffered from a sharp slowdown in North America recently including Omnicom and Interpublic so it can’t all be blamed on the strong dollar.
Big US advertisers are trying to slash their agency costs and they are all re-examining their media agency relationships because of fears over so-called “transparency,” chiefly programmatic media buying.
Aegis/Carat has turbocharged Dentsu since it bought the media buyer for £3.2bn back in 2012. But wobbles at Aegis/Carat will be worrying for the Japanese giant, which has had a number of self-inflicted problems in its home market too.