Agency Culture Media Planning and Buying Japan

Former ADK president admits to bribery charge in ongoing Tokyo Olympics scandal


By Danielle Long, Acting APAC Editor

February 20, 2023 | 3 min read

The former president of Japan’s third largest advertising agency ADK Holdings has admitted to bribing a Tokyo Olympic organising committee executive.

Tokyo Olympics

The Tokyo Olympics bid-rigging scandal continues / Image by Vik M from Pixabay

Shinichi Ueno appeared in Tokyo District Court where he admitted to paying ¥14 million ($104,000) to Haruyuki Takahashi, the former Olympic organising committee executive and former Dentsu executive, who has been indicted for receiving bribes in connection with events for the 2021 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Ueno, who was ADK’s representative director, president & group CEO resigned from his position on 19 October and was arrested the same day.

According to media reports, Ueno had been warned by ADK corporate lawyers that the payment to Takahashi would be the equivalent of bribery.

The indictment claims Ueno colluded with former senior ADK Holdings officials Shigeharu Hisamatsu and Toshiaki Tada and asked Takahashi to select their company as a marketing agent to solicit sponsors for the event.

ADK Holdings was appointed as a marketing agent for Tokyo-based parking service operator Park24, which became an Olympics sponsor. In return, the ADK executives sent payments to a consulting firm headed by Takahashi.

Japan's three largest advertising agencies, Dentsu, Hakuhodo and ADK, have confessed to a role in an industry-wide bid-rigging scandal that also involves ad firm Tokyu Agency and three event production companies Cerespo, Same Two and Fuji Creative.

A total of 15 people have been indicted in the case, according to The Japan News, and the agencies could face criminal charges.

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