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[Interview] Dentsu Inc. Consulting director Koji Kinoshita

최종 수정일: 2019년 5월 23일

Dentsu Inc. Consulting director Koji Kinoshita / “Raising public awareness through advertising”

Multinational Advertising Group Dentsu Inc., Implementation of CSR through SDGs

30th March 2019

Dentsu Inc. is a 5th biggest international advertising group began in Japan, and has headquarters in Tokyo and London currently. With more than 11,000 clients and about 60,000 professional employees, Dentsu Inc. focuses on social media under digitalization making 33% of growth profit.

Through the Japanese and global network, Dentsu Inc. aims to achieve own initiatives. After joining in UN Global Compact 2009, Dentsu Inc. announced “CSR Strategy 2020”, and has been performing as a strategy member of CSR in Asia. Based on Sustainability, it consists of Supply Chain, Environment, Community, and Responsible Marketing/Sustainable Consumption.

Koji Kinoshita is CSR/CSV Consulting Director in CSR department of Dents Inc., and chairman of subcommittee of environment in advertising agency in Japan. 12 December 2018, he had a speech under the topic of ‘Cooperation and Solidarity in Asia through Social Media’ in <KAIST International Forum 2018: Asia, Our Common Future> Seoul in S. Korea, and an brief interview regarding CSR.

📷<cf. 1> Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

SDGs which are campaign by the UN (United Nations) are an universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity. It consists of several broad topics such as environment, human rights, and it is anticipated to be accomplished by 2030.

Q) How SDGs are developed in the advertising industry?

(For more active and effective activities) Globally influential advertising corporations have gathered to approach the SDGs systematically under the name Common Ground Initiative since 2016. Six multinational advertising companies are responsible each one of SDGs. Specifically, WPP focuses on gender equality, HAVAS is on climate change, Publics is on the food issues, IPG is on education, Omnicom is on water quality, and Dentsu Inc. is on health issues.

" Advertising companies can't be powerful enough to solve global issues.

However, social problems can be solved through raising public awareness. ”

At the forum, ‘Asia, Our Common Future.’

Thus, Dentsu Inc. is working on a variety of advertisements to raise awareness of health and well-being around the world, and to encourage participation furthermore. In details, eradicating infectious diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis is placed on the priority.

<cf. 2> Video for Common Ground Initiatives:

Kōji Kinoshita, speaking in our Common Future

Q) (Regarding focused area) What would be distinctive CSR Project of Dentsu Inc.?

Dentsu Inc. has been supportive to the NGOs’ activities in various way. Since most of NGOs such as Stop TB and Malaria no More are relatively small size, they have struggled with promoting their programmes to the citizens. Therefore, Dentsu Inc. would provide a donation directly and connection of clients or institutions for NGOs to broaden the range of activities.

Moreover, Dentsu Inc. holds numerous events in Japan, the U.K., and so on. For instance, there were huge advertisements (about Health of SDGs) in Cannes Events held in 2017 and 2018 in France. Also, for the effective encouragement of the public participation through celebrity, Prince Charles gave a speech regarding the Malaria in the U.K.

<cf. 3> Video of Prince Charles Message - ‘Malaria No More UK’ Summit:

Q) Normally, the fundamental of private enterprise is of profitability, so what would be the reason for CSR?

Personally, I agree with the value of SDGs. Generally, I would consider that Multinational Corporations have a huge impact on the overall society in the world. It could be positive or negative sometimes, and thus, MNCs should pay attention to the social issues with bigger responsibility.

Q) An aging population is one of the major social issues in the world as well as in Japan, and I wonder how Japanese corporations take into account for this matter.

An aging population is regarded as an opportunity in Japan since it is based on solid economic capacity. As a perpetually growing market, not only health industry such as health care and the medical but also the whole Japanese firm concentrate on the potential. Every industry thinks over how happily people live before death.

Q) From the perspective of policy on aging society, what do you think of the Japanese pension system?

At this moment, it is quite well operating, but pretty unknown about its sustainability. It could be deteriorated since birth rate is quite lower in Japan. Concerning this, Japanese government, enterprise, and citizen seriously contemplate the countermeasure.

Q) Enterprises have been facing the great and small transformation through the fourth industrial revolution. How it has been developing in advertising industry?

Digitalization is tremendously innovative in advertising industry as well. In advance, conventional mass media such as journal, broadcast, and radio has a power of advertising, and they were quite separative. It made other parties hardly accessible to advertising industry. However, as digitalization proceeds with development on social media, media network world begins. Everyone can enter the advertising industry, and running business to create and post their own contents is possible.

(As a result) Not only consulting company but also other participants emerge as competitors. It must be reserved, and what sort of action would be taken from existing advertising corporation is going to be significant in a changing market.

Q) As social media platform such as Instagram, Facebook, and Youtube has become big player, do you consider them as competitor or another kind of opportunity?

They are cooperators rather than competitors since they create the place that contents could be uploaded. In the past, several large players such as broadcast hold a key for decision making, and a certain form of requirements existed accordingly. However, this situation has been transformed since platform emerged such as Google or Facebook. This emergence of new competitor has led to the less centralized authority in advertising and media industry. Thus, it could be said that digitalization is a historical moment in advertising industry which media is considerably important.

Q) As automation is promoted in accordance with the Industrial Revolution, what sense of responsibility an enterprise can cope with the workers who are being left behind? Furthermore, what would you think about the rehiring of those people through education?

Personally, since the government would play a small role in such area, I think that training and re-employment rely on enterprise. Indeed, it is also in a debate within Dentsu Inc.

(In this trend) Dentsu Inc. is willing to implement the necessary training for not only elder employees but also new employees. There has been no definite decision on education policies tailored to individual capabilities, and discussions are underway. However, it is clear that Dentsu Inc. is paying attention. For example, there is a mentor-mentee programme which helps elder employee to adapt digitalization by matching elder-younger employees.

Additionally, Japanese companies are significantly attempting to encourage and motivate their employees to promote the productivity of who has served many years since generally Japan has a low turnover rate than any other countries.

Q) I wonder if there are any political and social issues that could affect on the advertising industry in Japan recently.

The biggest issue for social responsibility in the society as well as in the advertising industry is the shift in working environment. As similar with most Asian countries, there have been a growing negative perception on the long working hours, and the government and businesses have been trying to reduce them. The Japanese government has introduced a 40-hour work week system, and Dentsu Inc. has shortened it upto a 35-hour work week (which is one of KPI*). The target working hours are 1,950-hour a year.

<cf. 4> KPI; Key Performance Indicator

Performance indicators for key elements that must be managed to achieve goals successfully

Q) I wonder what is speciality of Dentsu Inc. compared to competitor.

It is a good question, but hardly answerable. Firstly, Dentsu Inc. is proud of being first in Japanese advertising industry. Also, it is confident that Dentsu Inc. is always providing the best service and solution to the customer.

* This article is based on actual interview and speech, and written by intern reporters of KGM Lab after attending 『2018 KAIST International Forum』

** All rights reserved in KGM Lab. It is strictly prohibited from unauthorized copying.

Keywords: 2018 KAIST International Forum, Dentsu, Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, UN, Advertisement, Common Ground Initiative, the fourth industrial revolution


SHIN Daseul (

LEE Yeaun (

KIM Minhee (

Directing and Coordination

Dr. YOON Hanna

Director of KGMLAB

Adjunction Professor in Soongsil University

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