Dentsu seems to be preparing to drop Aegis from its Dentsu Aegis Network, the media-focussed part of its empire outside Japan, comprising the Carat and Vizeum media buying operations and personalised marketing business Merkle.
DAN was largely the creation of departed CEO Jerry Buhlmann and new non-Japan boss Tim Andree wants a ‘one Dentsu’ operation (or his Japanese masters do.)
Aegis was an interesting operation, a quoted company in its own right before Dentsu bought it for a hefty £3.2bn in 2012. Before that it was the creation of Peter Scott – the S in WCRS (now also ‘retired’) – who bought the French Gross brothers’ Carat as the business morphed from creative to media.
DAN, as is, seems to be retrenching, making extensive redundancies in the APAC region. For years under Buhlmann DAN slugged it out with the likes of Omnicom Media Group and WPP’s GroupM but big wins have been fewer recently. DAN is pitching against WPP for Vodafone’s global media, which is a big number for both networks.
The DAN changes are another reminder that the big ad holding companies are getting smaller as client cutbacks bite.