Dentsu confesses to overbilling clients

( – Following up on an in-house investigation, global advertising network Dentsu last Friday has admitted to overbilling clients.

According to global news reports the agency has so far identified 633 cases of overcharging and cheating that totalled around USD$2.3 million. The report highlighted that the fraudulent activity which had been going on for nearly four years and involved 111 advertisers.

It is unclear which clients have been affected however the agency shared in a statement addressing the issue that it had contacted and apologised to each client affected.

According to Japanese online daily Asahi Shimbun the scandal centred on contracts with clients promoting their companies on websites and smartphone apps.

‘The company uncovered 14 instances in which advertisers were overcharged by a total of 32 million yen even though the ads were not carried online as specified in the contracts with clients.

Another practice involved posting ads during periods that were different from those sought by advertisers.’ reported the online daily.

According to Asahi Shimbun, the company shared that a lack of manpower in divisions in charge of Internet advertisements was partly to blame for the fraudulent practices.

Shoichi Nakamoto, a senior executive vice president of Dentsu was reported in the Japanese online daily to have said, “We should have come to grips with the situation by increasing the number of staff in those divisions. We think that it is a problem of management rather than one certain individual.”

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