Dentsu merges creative networks into Dentsu Creative

In an announcement timed to coincide with the start of advertising’s biggest annual event in Cannes, Dentsu International said today that it is uniting its various creative agency brands under a single banner called Dentsu Creative.

The consolidation means that creative networks including Dentsu McGarrybowen, Isobar, 360i and all of the Dentsu-branded agencies—a group that includes DentsuOne (formerly Grip) in Canada—are being retired and replaced by the new entity. The company said that Dentsu Creative will be its sole creative network by the end of 2022.

Dentsu also unveiled a new brand identity for the network that Dentsu Canada CEO Stephen Kiely described as a creative expression of east meeting west that is representative of the network’s dedication to craft and the “transformative power of creativity.”

Dentsu said that today’s announcement is part of a broader strategy aimed at simplifying client engagement and injecting creative into everything it does.

“Dentsu Creative is poised to transform brands and businesses through the lens of modern creativity, which looks to deliver ideas that create culture, change society and invent the future,” it stated in a release.

Dentsu International global CEO Wendy Clark (right in top photo) described Dentsu Creative as a modern agency network fuelled by “horizontal creativity,” a process that sees creative ideas flow horizontally through the company’s two other business lines: media and CXM. The company said that it wants to “own” this process and become the most integrated network in the world.

Dentsu Creative will offer a “simplified, modern creative proposition” that meets clients’ needs to break down agency silos and inefficiencies by connecting talent around client opportunities at the right time, she said.

Led by global chief creative officer Fred Levron (left), who joined Dentsu last year, Dentsu Creative will be comprised of 9,000 creatives in 46 markets. They will be connected to the 37,000 media and CXM experts across the network, and collaborate with its creative experts in Japan. The company said that additional leadership announcements will follow.

“If you had the chance to build a brand new global creative network designed for the modern world, what would it look like?” said Levron in the release. “That is what we are answering with the launch of Dentsu Creative… If the current players have set the rules of the previous century, we have the ambition to set the rules for the decades to come.”

It is the latest move in an ongoing reorganization that previously saw Dentsu International collapse its more than 160 agency brands around the world into just six. The company has earmarked between 250 and 300 billion yen for investment between 2022 and 2024.

Chris Powell