Dentsu official disciplined for bullying

TOKYO • An official at Japan's largest advertising agency Dentsu Group Inc, a key figure in creating the Tokyo 2020 Olympics opening and closing ceremonies, has been punished for "power harassment", local media reported yesterday.

Dentsu penalised creative director Kaoru Sugano, 42, last month after complaints from an employee of a business partner, daily newspaper Asahi Shimbun reported without detailing the incident or punishment.

Sugano has since resigned from his role of overseeing performances at the Olympic ceremonies, the Asahi said.

The Mainichi daily newspaper said Sugano received "disciplinary action" for his conduct, adding that the Tokyo 2020 organising committee refrained from providing detailed information because they were "not in a position to respond to questions about internal disciplinary measures at Dentsu".

The incident is the latest to throw Dentsu's work culture under the spotlight.

The firm's president, Toshihiro Yamamoto, stepped down from his role following the "death by overwork" of a young employee three years ago. The suicide prompted official probes and fresh hand-wringing over Japan's overtime culture.

Last month, Dentsu received a warning from labour authorities over overtime practices.

Previously, Sugano was involved in making Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe appear as Nintendo video game character Super Mario during the 2016 Olympics closing ceremony in Rio de Janeiro.

Last month, Abe hailed the completion of the National Stadium built for the Olympics in Tokyo. It will stage athletics and football events as well as the opening and closing ceremonies.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 09, 2020, with the headline 'Dentsu official disciplined for bullying'. Subscribe