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Japan's oldest and largest advertising group will have to refocus its strategy if it is to cope with an influx of foreign rivals at home, Alexandra Harney says
On a quiet street corner in Kyoto, a large neon sign glows eerily above the sleepy tea houses and traditional inns. The bold lines of Dentsu's logo may strike passing tourists as an intrusion into an historic scene, but not so the Japanese--Dentsu is a household name.
Despite several leading US and European conglomerates having been in Japan for decades, Dentsu has controlled more than 20 per cent of billings for at least 20 years. It has the biggest multinational companies in Japan among its clients, controls 50 per cent of prime-time TV slots and boasts an impressive overseas network. Last year, Dentsu had profits of Y189.5 billion (987 million …