Dentsu Aegis Network rolls non-Japanese creative shops into Dentsumcgarrybowen

Merlee Jayme, Jon Dupuis, Gordon Bowen and Ned Crowley will take leadership roles at new operation.

Clockwise from top left: Jayme, Dupuis, Crowley, Lin and Bowen
Clockwise from top left: Jayme, Dupuis, Crowley, Lin and Bowen

Dentsu Aegis Network is launching a global creative shop called Dentsumcgarrybowen that combines its ad agencies outside Japan.

The new shop has more than 3,000 staff working in 33 offices across 24 markets, with the biggest offices being the US, the UK, Italy and Amsterdam. Multinational clients include Toyota, American Express, Subway and Shiseido. Dentsu’s creative operations in Japan remain stand-alone but will work closely with Dentsumcgarrybowen on shared clients.

Merlee Jayme, chair and chief creative officer at Dentsu Jayme Syfu in the Philippines, and Jon Dupuis, currently global president at Mcgarrybowen, will be co-presidents of the new operation, reporting to Jean Lin, global chief executive of creative at DAN.

Gordon Bowen, co-founder of Mcgarrybowen and chief creative officer at DAN, will be global chairman of Dentsumcgarrybowen. Ned Crowley, global chief creative officer at Mcgarrybowen, will take the same role at the new agency.

Lin said Dentsumcgarrybowen would bring together the strategic and creative strengths from the West through Mcgarrybowen and the Eastern philosophy of Dentsu and its focus on innovation, craft and humanity.

"It’s a really critical next step for us and is driven by client demand," Lin explained. "While clients are very mindful of the local ecosystem, more than ever we need consistent global platform thinking to ensure that local brand behaviours are connected together across borders."

Lin, who joined Aegis Media in 2004 to run Isobar Greater China and was promoted to global chief executive of Isobar in 2014, now also chairs a new One Dentsu global creative council to drive consistent standards for processes, client servicing and the rating of work. "We want to ensure that the creative agencies outside Japan work seamlessly with the Japanese operation on our shared clients," she said.

There are no immediate plans to dramatically expand the geographical footprint of the new network, Lin added. "The idea of hundreds of identical offices around the world doesn’t make sense and clients won't necessarily want to pay for all that as the new normal really kicks in and as technology allows dynamically created content to create meaningful brand experience," she said.

"So we’ll have a hub and spoke approach to ensure we have scaled brand platform thinking that can be executed globally through the hub and activated locally through the spokes."

However, Lin admitted that EMEA was one key region where the new agency wants to "significantly up our game" in terms of footprint and the diversity of capabilities.

Each local agency will continue to report to the local DAN management group "because it’s critical for us to continue to deliver local integrated solutions in any given market", but will now also report globally to Dentsumcgarrybowen. Jayme will move to Singapore with more of a focus on Asia-Pacific, while Dupuis will remain in New York with more of a focus on North America and EMEA.

Dentsumcgarrybowen will now sit alongside Isobar, John Brown and Dentsu PR agencies, including Mitchell, within the creative line of business at DAN. Together, the creative division represents around 25% of all DAN revenue; the CRM and media lines make up the remaining 75% of revenue.