Speaking at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, Dentsu global CEO, Wendy Clark, and global chief creative officer, Fred Levron revealed a new global full-service creative agency, Dentsu Creative.
In the ANZ region, as of 21 June the brands BWMIsobar, DentsuMB will no longer exist, and Haystac and Cox Inall will start to consolidate, then retire in three months to come under the umbrella of full-service creative agency, Dentsu Creative, led by CEO Kirsty Muddle. Cox Inall Ridgeway will remain a standalone brand for Dentsu in the region.
During the presentation, both Clark and Levron spoke of the full transformation the brand is making, to become the “most integrated global network”, and the “most modern creative partner”, focused on horizontal creativity.
This change marks the first singular brand at a holding group level, as Clark said that Levron has a “mutli-million pound investment fund” to aid the transition, and that the group is treating it like “any other acquisition”.
While the move will be a transition across global markets, it is immediate in the Australia and New Zealand region, with “major hires” to follow according to Clark.
The pair continued that Dentsu is the only one of the major holding group not carrying the weight to make it unable to action this global restructure. With it, Dentsu is doubling down on its Japanese heritage also.
Muddle said the combined offering gives Dentsu clients access to the full capabilities of the group, with horizontal creatvity, combined with data, media, and CXM for modern creative solutions.
“We have created an agency to connect brands and businesses to the future through the power of modern creativity,” Muddle said. “The modern world is more complex to navigate than ever for brands and businesses. We need to simplify our business to break down agency silos and seamlessly connect our talent around the right client opportunities at the right time.”
“We are driven by our clients’ needs for creative that creates new behaviours, is made possible by technology, made personal by data, and made powerful by emotion. At the centre of our creative thinking is a deep understanding of consumer behaviour.”
The innovative move was led by Levron, put into motion shortly after he was hired by Dentsu in 2016, after serving as global chief creative officer for IPG agency FCB for five years. Clark also joined as recent as 2020 from DDB, where she was global CEO.
“Dentsu Creative brings together our 120-year Japanese heritage in craft, innovation and technology and our deep understanding of modern media and contemporary culture. We are launching a modern creative agency with deep expertise in modern brand building, through entertainment, content, and culture, structured to facilitate and accelerate the creation of our product,” Muddle continued.
“Our creative product is the ultimate driver of our success and our clients’ businesses and a powerful economic multiplier.”
Locally, Dentsu is currently searching for a new CEO as Angela Tangas prepares to move to London, to take up her new role as UK&I CEO for the group.
In 2020, Dentsu merged its creative agencies to form Dentsumcgarrybowen, with the Australian operation led as BWM Dentsu. Last year, the group merged Isobar into the brand, to form BWM Isobar, with staff joining Merkle, as part of an ongoing “simplification” of its Australian capabilities base.
The move was hinted in late 2020, when Muddle was hired into her role, overseeing brands BWM Isobar, DentsuMB and Dentsu’s PR agencies.
Her joining the business coincided with the conclusion of the BWM earn out, with founding partner and CEO Paul Williams to departing at the close of 2021, with Jamie Mackay also exiting, but continuing as a consultant. Rob Belgiovane, the third partner left BWM in 2020 due to personal reasons.