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Dentsu buys UK ad production pioneer Tag for up to $600m

Dentsu Group has agreed a deal to buy ad production giant Tag from Advent International. Dentsu says the deal will take its customer transformation and technology net revenues from 32% to 34% of its total with the ambition of reaching 50%.

Dentsu is believed to be willing pay up to $600m.

Dentsu president and CEO Hiroshi Igarashi says: “Tag will truly enable us to scale our CT&T business for global clients with a technology-driven solution. By applying mass-personalization across the three services lines, we will create a best-in-class, horizontal creativity offering.

“The values that the Tag leadership team have established and nurtured over the past 50 years very much mirror dentsu’s own culture and values, with a shared focus on Social Purpose, DEI and sustainability. We look forward to welcoming Tag to the dentsu family and to our shared success.”

Tag, founded in 1972, was developed from the sleepy print repro company The Adplates Group in a nifty piece of rebranding by and up-and-coming boss Steve Parish. It played a key role in the formation of many of the agencies that defined UK advertising in the latter years of the 20th century, establishing in-house studios and even hosting them: Johnny Hornby’s CHI&Partners began life in a Tag office.

It was sold to Germany’s Deutsche Post and then to Advent International in 2017. It now employs 2800 people in 29 countries around the world under CEO David Kassler and will become dentsu’s sixth big brand. Former boss Parish is a now co-owner of Crystal Palace FC.

This is an update of an earlier story.

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