On reading the Dentsu opinion piece in the most recent J@pan Inc I thought I might say a few words from a neutral standpoint.
It is widely known that Dentsu is a corporate giant with the lion’s share of business; its presence and contacts in the marketplace are unmatched. But surely, its success is not born entirely out of ignorance, bullying and grey practices as the article seems to suggest.
It can be satisfying, if not a little obvious, to point out the failures and wrongs of corporate giants—but surely the likes of Dentsu only grow in size by being fed by the clients they serve. Like McDonald’s and Starbucks, perhaps the offer of reliable mediocrity is safer than the hit or miss option of a smaller independent solution, especially in Japan where “safety,” alongside convenience, is a key word.
All large corporations come under fire from time to time, but how often do we hear about problems caused (and companies made bankrupt) by the ineptitude of dynamic and creative yet inexperienced fly-by-nights? True, there are many smaller but established options out there—and growth will follow where success has been. But Dentsu get the job done with meticulousness if not dynamism—all the while offering a safety net for the business trapeze act that is communications.