Dentsu Billings Surge 17% In July As The Firm Expands Holdings On Two Continents

Tokyo-based holding company Dentsu reported a 17% surge in client advertising expenditures in July to more than 139 billion Japanese Yen (about $1.4 billion at today’s exchange rate) versus July 2013. Separately, the company reported two M&A deals in the last two weeks.

Interactive was the single biggest gainer in July -- up 14% -- while newspapers were up 6% and TV rose 3%. The company reported that spending was down for marketing and promotion (-20%); magazines (-12%) and radio and out-of-home (both down about 3%).

Earlier this week, the company confirmed a joint venture with full-service ad shop Media Fuse, based in Lagos, Nigeria, which is designed to increase the holding company’s presence in West Africa.

The joint venture company has been named Media Fuse Dentsu Aegis Network, and it will work closely with other shops that Dentsu has established in other African countries including Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, South Africa and Tunisia.

Nigeria is the most populous country on the African continent with an economy that has been growing at 6% to 7% a year, per Dentsu. Earlier this year Nigeria’s economy reportedly surpassed South Africa’s as the largest on the continent.

Word of that joint venture follows the company’s agreement two weeks ago to acquire a majority stake in Milestone Brandcom, a Mumbai, India-based OOH agency. Terms call for Dentsu Aegis Network to acquire 51% of the firm after regulatory approval is obtained with provisions to acquire the remaining 49% at a later date.

Dentsu Aegis Network’s OOH specialist Posterscope also operates in India, and the company said the Milestone Brandcom deal would make the holding company the largest OOH buyer in the country.

OOH spending is growing rapidly in India, Dentsu said, noting a report from its media shop Carat earlier this year that indicated expenditures in the medium were up 11.5% in 2013 with projections that it will grow 10% both this year and next.

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