Ad agency Dentsu forms entertainment subsidiary; to develop animation, media content

MUMBAI: Global advertising agency Dentsu Inc has formed a wholly owned subsidiary company – Dentsu Entertainment USA, Inc. Headquartered in Santa Monica, CA, the new entity operates in multiple territories outside of Asia, developing original animation programming and media content. It is also responsible for expanding licensing sales for existing and new properties.

Additionally, Dentsu Entertainment USA announced that the international hit animation series, Deltora Quest, has been acquired by the new joint venture children’s network brand from Discovery Communications and Hasbro – The Hub. The 52 half-hour episodes of Deltora Quest will begin airing when the network launches on television and online in Fall, 2010. The series is based on the international top-selling fantasy-adventure book series of the same name. Dentsu Entertainment USA will manage all licensing rights outside of Asia, which is handled by Dentsu directly.

Dentsu Inc’s Yo Hattori said, "Dentsu Entertainment USA will have the ability to operate more effectively as an independent entity, while also maximizing synergy with Dentsu’s global family of companies."

Dentsu Entertainment USA president and CEO Yuma Sakata said, "Dentsu has given us an opportunity to more aggressively seek US business opportunities in entertainment – including the development of new television properties with global sensibilities – while also serving as a local office for western initiatives on properties originating in Japan, such as Deltora Quest and Mameshiba."

All activities, projects, obligations and staff formerly with DCI Los Angeles (DCI-LA), a Dentsu America division formed in 2008, will now operate under Dentsu Entertainment USA. In addition to Deltora Quest, migrating properties include: Chub City, originally a popular toy line of street-savvy figural characters and vehicles, currently in development as an animated series; Mameshiba, a collection of appealing bean-dog characters that debuted in Japan in 2008, growing into a global licensing phenomenon with over $55 million in product sales last year; and Monsuno, a new animated action TV series for boys aged 6-11 scheduled to launch in 2011 in North America, Europe and Asia, in partnership with JAKKS Pacific, Inc.