Dentsu discards Aegis for ‘international’ agency brand

DAN 1Dentsu Group is ditching the Aegis name from its international network, seven years after taking on the mantle following its £3.2bn acquisition of the company behind Carat, Isobar and Vizeum, and just weeks after new boss Wendy Clark took control of the division.

The Dentsu Aegis Network (DAN) combines the agency’s operations outside of its homeland of Japan and also includes Merkle. It will now be known simply as Dentsu International.

The company insists the rebranding “will allow all Dentsu employees to deliver on the group’s philosophy of true client-centricity through ‘open teaming’—the concept of all employees realising innovation for clients from anywhere”. It is not known what they were actually doing before the name change.

Dentsu International operates in over 145 markets worldwide, with more than 48,000 staff under nine key brands: Carat, Dentsu X, iProspect, Isobar, Dentsumcgarrybowen, Merkle, MKTG, Vizeum and Posterscope.

Clark was appointed in April but only took up the role on September 1. She had spent nearly five years at DBB, the past two years as global CEO, and prior to that she held senior marketing roles at Coca-Cola for over eight years.

Having been recruited to bring Dentsu and its international network closer together, Clark said: “This represents an important milestone in the evolution of our international business as we build on Dentsu’s rich legacy of innovation and industry leadership along with the dynamic growth story of Dentsu Aegis Network.

“Our business provides our clients and our people with the best of both worlds, helping them to achieve meaningful progress against a backdrop of unprecedented change and disruption.”

The move follows Dentsu’s decision to combine five of its data-driven marketing agencies – Merkle, DWA, Gyro, B2B International and Digital Pi – to create a B2B “powerhouse” to serve clients’ needs under a single entity.

For the time being, the agencies within the group will retain their own identities and clients – which currently bring in $16bn (£11.9bn) in global billings – but will eventually merge and rebrand.

Meanwhile, Merkle has appointed Azlan Raj to the newly created role of chief marketing officer for the EMEA region.

Previously Merkle’s senior vice-president for customer experience across EMEA, Raj will be responsible for evolving the company’s proposition which offers clients a solution that integrates data, analytics, media, CRM and technology.

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