Dentsu president and CEO, Tadashi Ishii has apologised and admitted to approximately 633 suspicious transactions involving over 111 clients. Among those transactions, the number of cases where fees were charged while no placement had been made was found to be around 14 and was approximately JPY 230 million.
According to the company all clients involved have been already communicated to and it is not set to affect the company “materially”.
This comes days after the Toyota saga which rocked the marketing community.
The agency added that the types of irregularities involving inappropriate operations which it has detected to date include “discrepancies in advertising placement periods either made consciously or by human error, failure of placement, and false reporting regarding performance results or achievements.” This is on top of invoices not reflecting actual results, resulting in unjust overcharged billing.
“We take this matter seriously and immediately after finding out about the incidents, we organised an internal investigation team in the middle of August. We have initiated extensive investigations to grasp and verify the actual situations, including the root causes leading to the inappropriate operations, and we are vigorously continuing our investigations,” said Ishii in a statement. The investigations cover those digital advertising services rendered after November 2012 to date in Japan.
“While we are still in the process of pursuing our investigations, if we confirm new facts, we will deal with such new findings in the same manner,” Ishii said.
He added that the company is determined to clarify the causes leading to the impropriate operations and to establish further requisite measures for resolving the situations and fundamental preventive measures. It hopes to “implement such steps faithfully and steadily in order to restore confidence” in the company by the end of the year.
Following the taking of such steps, we plan to report the progress of our efforts to our clients and business partners including advertisers, related associations and organizations and all other stakeholders.
We sincerely apologise to our esteemed advertisers, the parties concerned and our shareholders from the bottom of our hearts for causing concern and trouble.
Read the full letter here.