Dentsu Scamed 2.3 Billion Yen from Internet Ad Customers

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Last week, Dentsu, one of the largest advertising agencies in Japan, had a press conference to admit and apologize about the fraud they have committed against their advertising clients. The fraud was made through Internet advertising impacted their 111 clients including Toyota for the amount of 2.3 billion yen (US.3 million). This added one more reason for the advertisers in Japan to doubt agencies’ often behind the door practices.

This “scam” became visible when their clients started to question about their ad performances. For example, some clients noticed that their ads were not showing up several days out of each month. Some complained that their ad performance didn’t improve at all while they were spending more money. According to the report, Dentsu also admitted about creating fake reports and invoices.

Many in the online ad industry in Japan think this is just “a tip of the iceberg”, and I share their concern. Unfortunately, the agencies are not always working for client’s benefits. Just like this Dentsu’s case, agencies’ own benefits come first often times at client’s cost. I was glad to hear that some of their clients spoke up and questioned about the performances, reports, etc. If you are not sure how to go about selecting a good agency or have some doubts in the campaign performances, read these posts that I previously wrote on ClickZ site:

3 Things to Ask Yourself Before You Look for a New Agency

Be a Smart Client, and Make Your PPC Agency Work Harder