Dentsu to cease operations in Russia

The global agency's Russia subsidiary will continue to operate independently under OKS Group.

Dentsu to cease operations in Russia

Dentsu International, part of the Japanese advertising agency behemoth Dentsu, announced yesterday that it is transferring ownership of its joint venture in Russia to its long-term local partner.

With the move, Dentsu became the fourth big agency group to pull out its presence in Russia in response to the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

In 2020, Dentsu formed a joint venture with OKS Group, a Russia-based investment firm, to launch a new subsidiary called Dentsu Entertainment Eurasian Partners (DEEP). The agency now employs 1,500 people in Russia, serving primarily local clients.

According to a statement, DEEP will continue to operate independently under OKS Group.

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Dentsu said, “We have not made this decision lightly as we have 1,500 people in Russia who have supported Dentsu and our clients over many years. Our Dentsu teams around the world, and particularly in EMEA, have stepped up to provide humanitarian support to those impacted in Ukraine, including transporting team members and their families from Ukraine borders to Poland, securing job transfers and secondments to other areas in our network and providing legal and housing support.”

In Ukraine, Dentsu operates via affiliation with a local partner and has around 500 employees. The agency also said that it is donating an additional 100 million yen (US$841,900) to help those affected in Ukraine and the surrounding areas. Previously, Dentsu donated 38 million yen (US$328,000) as urgent aid to the Ukrainian Red Cross Society on February 25.

The other three agency groups that have announced their departures from Russia are Publicis Groupe, WPP, and IPG. The two remaining big agency groups still there, for now, are Omnicom and Havas.

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