He Devoted His Entire Life to the Modernization of Japan's Advertising Industry

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Hideo Yoshida—Japanese Advertising's Great Modernizer and the Start of Commercial Broadcasting in Japan

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By the time the Second World War ended, much of Ginza lay in smoldering ruin. Miraculously, the Dentsu Head Office Building had survived, and it was from here that the Company began its post-war era. In June 1947, Hideo Yoshida (1903–1963) became Dentsu's fourth president. Yoshida was determined to transform Japanese advertising into a modern, scientific business. Under Yoshida's resolute leadership, the atmosphere inside the Company brimmed with a sense of vitality, and the number of Dentsu employees grew rapidly.

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The first half of the 1950s witnessed a revolution in the structure of Japan's advertising media. In 1953, just two years after the commencement of commercial radio broadcasting, Nippon Television Network Corporation (NTV) launched Japan's first commercial television broadcasts. Thereafter, television stations rapidly opened throughout the country, marking the start of the commercial television era. Yoshida strongly believed that commercial broadcasting and broadcast advertising represented the new future for Dentsu and the entire Japanese advertising industry.

He enthusiastically poured his energy into popularizing these new media, which provided critical momentum for Dentsu to make a quantum leap to its next stage of growth. Around the same time, as post-war paper shortages eased, newspapers were once again allowed to compete freely, and the nationwide circulation of daily newspapers rose steeply. Yoshida sought to ensure the future health of the newspaper advertising industry by promoting transparency in the setting of advertising rates and the establishment of a third-party institution to provide audited circulation figures.

In 1955, the first year of Japan's record-breaking period of rapid economic growth, the Company's official name was changed to Dentsu Advertising Ltd. the abbreviated name by which it had long been known. 20 years after becoming a company focused exclusively on the advertising field, Dentsu's path toward development into a modern advertising company began to take shape.

  • Photo 1:
    Known as the "Demon of Advertising," President Yoshida was also known as a Person of Heart.
  • Photo 2:
    President Yoshida conducts an early morning meeting of the Senior Executive Committee (February 4, 1955)
  • Photo 3:
    Passersby watch NTV broadcasts shortly after the station's opening. Television penetration in Japanese households rose very steeply, and by 1964 the rate exceeded 80%.


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