Toyota Japan' Ad Agency Overbilled The Automaker, Has To Pay Back Bogus Charges

Toyota Motor Corporation will receive a refund from the Japanese branch of ad agency Dentsu Inc, as it has been discovered that the firm had overbilled customers.
Toyota commercial by Dentsu Japan 4 photos
Photo: Screenshot from YouTube
Toyota commercial by Dentsu JapanToyota commercial by Dentsu JapanToyota commercial by Dentsu Japan
Toyota is a long-standing customer of Dentsu, but that did not stop them from billing the automaker for more than what it received. The excessive billing practices were done by the Dentsu Aegis Search and Link, which is the performance marketing subsidiary in Japan of the Dentsu Corporation.

Even if the name might not be familiar to the automotive enthusiast, Dentsu is the world’s third-largest advertising agency. According to the corporation, it controls 25% of ad spend in Japan, which means that it is two and a half times larger than the second-largest player on the market, Hakuhodo. Dentsu employs over 7,000 people in Japan.

The relationship between Toyota and Dentsu goes back to World War II, but the automaker has been billed more than it should have been in the last five years.

According to Ad News, the relationship between the leaders of both businesses at the time of their first collaboration was of friendship, and this is faithful to this day with Akio Toyoda and Tadashi Ishii, the CEOs of Toyota and Dentsu, respectively.

Dentsu responded to the news and confirmed that there was an issue with its digital media division and Toyota. At the moment, we know that the agency had informed its customers of the problem before the scandal broke public, but nobody knows if the situation was intentional. Toyota is not the sole top-level customer affected by the situation, but it appears that it is the only Japanese automaker that was excessively billed by Dentsu.

The entire scandal has the potential to rock the Japanese advertising industry in a similar way that the Takata situation shocked the automotive world. Japan has few litigation lawyers because of its culture, which promotes honor and honesty, while suing someone is considered dishonorable.

Toyota commercial by Dentsu Japan

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About the author: Sebastian Toma
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Sebastian's love for cars began at a young age. Little did he know that a career would emerge from this passion (and that it would not, sadly, involve being a professional racecar driver). In over fourteen years, he got behind the wheel of several hundred vehicles and in the offices of the most important car publications in his homeland.
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