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Gordon Young
Editor-in-chief at The Drum

Dentsu says it will pay $2.3m to clients it has overcharged


Tokyo-based Dentsu has said it will pay $2.3m back to clients that it has overcharged for digital advertising work in Japan.

Toshihiro Yamamoto, Dentsu senior vice president, told reporters in Tokyo on Friday at a press briefing that the company plans to pay back 230 million yen and "will talk with clients after all the facts are disclosed," according to Bloomberg.

The announcement comes just days after Australian publication AdNews broke the news that Dentsu admitted to overcharging longtime client Toyota. In a statement released on Friday, Dentsu said it has been investigating the issue since August and has so far found 633 suspicious transactions affecting 111 clients, some of which date back to November 2012.

The controversy comes as transparency in digital media continues to be a controversial topic within the industry, particularly in the US where the Association of National Advertisers recently released a report that found that “non-transparent business practices” – including rebates – are pervasive in the media landscape there.

In a statement (which can be viewed in full here), Dentsu said that there have been multiple instances in which “services were provided inappropriately,” including false reporting regarding performance results and discrepancies in advertising placement periods.

“We sincerely apologize to our esteemed advertisers, the parties concerned and our shareholders from the bottom of our hearts for causing concern and trouble,” Dentsu said in the statement.

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