The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, which took place a year later (and without spectators) due to the pandemic, are involved in a great controversy related to advertising and sponsorships.
That’s how it is, communication giant Dentsu and five other Japanese companies were charged with rigging sponsorship bids, a scandal that all of Japan is talking about.
The measure of the Japanese prosecutors against the public relations giant is one of the points that the authorities analyze in order to get to the bottom of the matter of a complex network of irregularities prior to the Tokyo Olympics.
Among the companies involved, in addition to Dentsu – which has a former executive accused of bribery – are the most famous manufacturer of suits in Japan, the president of a publishing giant and the highest benchmark for a company that manufactures pet toys.
But the biggest person involved in the complaint is, without a doubt, Dentsu, since it is a multinational considered one of the strongest institutions in Japan.
The advertising and public relations giant has in its portfolio the largest Japanese corporations, as well as being closely linked to the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.
In fact, it has the government among its clients.
What happened to Dentsu, the advertising giant of Japan
Dentsu was involved in the entire process, from the presentation of Tokyo as a venue to the decision of who would be the companies that would sponsor the Tokyo 2020 Games.
On that list are banks, real estate, oil and technology companies. It is estimated that Dentsu decided on sponsorships for 3 billion dollars
In a statement released Tuesday, February 28, Tokyo prosecutors allege that Dentsu, along with its biggest national advertising rival, Hakuhodo, the advertising agency Tokyotwo event organizing companies (Cerespo and Same-Two), and a TV producer holding company (Fuji Creative), They violated antitrust regulations by restricting the entry of other firms to sponsorships of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
After the accusation, Dentsu announced that five of its executives and its subsidiaries will return their salaries. In addition, they are going to create an investigative committee with external experts to analyze what happened.
According to publish Financial Timesciting people close to Dentsu, it is highly unlikely that the company will suffer significant damage to its dominant position in the advertising market in Japan.
“No major company in Japan can live without Dentsu,” they told the FT.
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