Drama at Dentsu

Adweek reports this morning that Steve Biegel, the former creative director of the U.S. arm of Dentsu (Japan's largest advertising agency), sued the company Wednesday, saying he was pressured to visit a brothel and engage in other sexually explicit activities on company outings and then was fired after he complained in November of 2006.

In a lawsuit seeking unspecified damages filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, Steve Biegel said he and other company employees were put in awkward, sexually charged situations by Toyo Shigeta, the chief executive officer of Dentsu Holdings USA.

Dentsu provided this statement on the lawsuit: "Steve Biegel is a former employee who was terminated almost a year ago. When Dentsu refused to yield to Mr. Biegel's unreasonable demands, he made outrageous allegations which the company has refuted. He has now filed a claim to obtain money to which he is not entitled, for incidents he alleges took place over three years ago and which he never complained about while an employee of Dentsu. The company intends to counterclaim that Mr. Biegel has libeled Dentsu and defrauded the company. We look forward to the opportunity to vindicate our company in court."

Biegel said in the suit he was the executive responsible for developing television, radio, print and outdoor advertisements for many of Dentsu's most important clients when he was asked to go on a trip in June 2004 to the Czech Republic where a commercial was shot for Canon Inc.

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Dabitch's picture

One of these things is not like the others:

Shigeta took them to a brothel, leaving Biegel, who is married, offended and humiliated that he had been forced or duped into going there, the lawsuit said.

It said Shigeta later demanded they participate in prostitution and became angry when they did not, accusing them of being "no fun."

The lawsuit said Shigeta later told them that having sex with prostitutes was a proper style of conducting business and commemorating business dealings.


On another business trip to Tokyo in October 2004, Shigeta insisted that Biegel and two other employees accompany him to a Japanese bath house where they were instructed to climb naked into a bath with Shigeta, the lawsuit said.

Japanese bath houses are like our saunas. You simply do not enter them in some kind of bathing suit, perv.