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japan advertising agency structure

Japans advertising agency structure and lay out

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Japan advertising agency structure

Agency practices in Japan

The variance of Japan advertising agency structure: There are over 4,500 ad agencies in Japan. Most are small companies and of these, many specialize in a particular field of advertising such as: Classifieds, magazines, newspaper,TV, point of purchase, radio, outdoor, special outdoor promotions etc. On top of this many of them provide their specialized services in a certain city or region thus narrowing down services, specialties, type of media handled within areas they could serve you in. The number of full service agencies capable of handling clients nationally in Japan or globally, especially for Japanese companies is quite small. Agencies are ranked in Japan according to annual billings, yet factors mentioned above not put into the equation… Unlike the USA in the 2000's and before, agencies in Japan collect fees usually from the client not the vendor. There are exceptions though. When a Japanese media vendor states their cost for OOH mediums, that is their net they expect to take in. Agent fees are added to it or calculated on that net and then presented to the potential buying client.


On occasion there is a small commission or discount to the agency buying from them. Paying upfront for OOH you want is not an uncommon practice and in some cases, paying upfront before hand is more of a ‘binding contract’ than signing an invoice agreeing to buy. It varies from vendor to vendor and agency to agency. If you have no relationship with the vendor or ad agency paying up front could be asked of you if you have no history with them. Typical fees run from 15-20%. There are cases of up to 30%. This exceeds the norm of in the USA or EU nations’ agents. Tax is applicable to ads.