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Ad Age Ad Lib

Sep 20, 2018

“We’re not in the advertisement business. We’re in the engagement business,” says Nick Brien, CEO of Dentsu Aegis Network Americas. The advertising company was formed in 2013 to manage parent company Dentsu’s operations outside of Japan. Dentsu now generates more than half of its revenue — 59 percent last year — from outside its home market. Yet Dentsu and Dentsu Aegis Network are less known and less understood in the U.S. than the big holding companies WPP, Omnicom, Publicis and IPG. Dentsu, and therefore Brien, has a stated goal of becoming a 100 percent digital business by 2020. We get into that, his background in an industry that he says he loves, creativity (something Dentsu Aegis Network is not particularly known for), acquisition goals and why he’s tired of the narrative of the big bad consulting companies infringing on agency turf.