Dentsu Expands Retail Media Business to Accelerate Growth for Brands and Retailers; Appoints Brian Monahan as Head of Retail Media Solutions

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New York, NY  — Dentsu announced today that is expanding its retail media business to accelerate growth and unlock synergies for clients across all retail media capabilities led by the appointment of Brian Monahan as Head of Retail Media Solutions, Americas. The expansion will provide a deeper understanding of consumer insights and modern shopping behavior, real time retail media market dynamics — reach and pricing dynamics — and the development of 360-degree shopper profiles for innovative retail shopping experiences — digital shopping carts, in-store shelves and custom content. The solution will align the buy and sell side of retail media to maximize the shared objective of driving sales.  

Under Monahan's leadership and supported by a team of over 150 retail experts, dentsu is investing in the expansion of its retail media offering. It is the only in-market offering providing a trifecta of consultation, implementation & activation at scale. While tech-agnostic to ensure freedom & flexibility, it brings together the world-class strength from Merkle and iProspect to be the only network that manages both buy & sell sides of the solution, creating efficiencies from scale & clout with global brands. The offering is also supported by Mike Feldman, SVP, Head of Commerce & Retail Media at dentsu who brings over a decade of retail media experience and a holistic view in both the buy-side and sell-side of retail media and Megan Cameron, SVP, Retail Media Network at Merkle who leads the New Stream Media practice supporting retailers in building, scaling, and evolving their RMNs. 

Dentsu’s Retail Media Solution is powered by Merkury, the leading global data and identity platform, that gives marketers ownership and growth of first-party identity to enable a total experience—turning creative, media and customer experience data into intelligent actions that drive growth and brand loyalty. Merkury delivers unduplicated reach curves and models the best use of funds before diminishing ad spend returns. It provides robust profiles for a deeper understanding of segments to support data driven creative and cross selling opportunities. These addressable segments can then be pushed through the Merkury Publisher Marketplace to create an unmatched planning tool.  

Demand for the solution and robust shopper insights are supported by recent research conducted by Merkle which released its annual Retail Media Research Report in October, incorporating survey findings from retail media networks (RMNs) and brands. The report focuses on the growing RMN landscape and how brands are approaching an increasingly crowded ecommerce market. It also highlights some of the dynamics related to shifting consumer habits driven by inflation and rising expectations. 

Monahan is a skilled leader in retail-driven growth from both the agency and brand sides and under his leadership he will continue to build and scale the rapidly evolving retail space. He joined dentsu in 2018 as a Global Client President and was dentsu’s first Head of US Ventures, driving investment in R&D and Corporate Ventures. 

Prior to returning to the agency-side of the business, Monahan led client-side teams, most recently leading marketing for where he was responsible for the Walmart Retail Media Network (RMN). Following that, he led Customer Strategy at Pinterest and was a member of the team that enabled the platform’s successful Social Commerce journey. An entrepreneurial leader, Monahan has launched three companies and is an advisor to many retail focused businesses today. Outside of work, Monahan volunteers with the San Francisco Unified School District, the Ad Council, and the Gun Safety Alliance — for which he was recently recognized by Purpose Worldwide. 

This solution is designed with three pillars, all working together for growth and performance to maximise the return on every dollar spent for clients: 

  • New Stream Media — With almost a decade of measurable success, this offering rapidly grows retailers’ digital ad revenue and creates more personalized experiences for consumers. It accelerates the formation of unique partnerships with manufacturers by matching the product manufacturer with individual shoppers in the right media channels to ensure relevant experiences for clients across the grocery, mass and specialty retail categories.  
  • Buy side media — Powerful media strategy and storytelling that connects people and brands. It harnesses the power of unique platform relationships for data-drive results that move at the speed of retail. It is fully integrated across all media channels with dedicated expert talent available 24 hours a day. This always-on approach works seamlessly across multiple geographies. 
  • Dentsu Shop —An innovation accelerator for retail. It brings retail experiences to ingenious and expansive new spaces like commerce in Roblox and AR at-the-shelf experiences all while delivering next-generation measurement. This accelerator deepens known shopper relationships and enables shoppable moments across the journey all while enabling clients to monetize first-party data to multiply the efficiency and efficacy of buy-side media. 

Commenting on the expanding retail media offering and on Monahan’s appointment, Jeff Greenspoon, Global Practice President - Integrated Solutions, dentsu said, “As points of engagement and points of retail transaction come ever closer together, being first to bring together our sell side and buy side retail experts will maximize outcomes for our clients and push the industry further through innovation. Appointing Brian to lead Retail Media Solutions is an important next step for the evolution of our retail offering. Brian is an innovator and true client partner with a proven track record of driving growth for his clients’ businesses. His agile approach, along with our evolved offering, will accelerate our world-class capabilities in coming together to address the rapid growth and demand for performance, data-driven solutions that reach the customer at the moment of purchase whether that is in the store aisle or at home.” 

Brian Monahan, Head of Retail Media Solutions at dentsu, added, “What shopping was yesterday is not what shopping is today. It’s evidenced by research and emerging shopping contexts that are often tech-enabled and more immersive experiences​. Winning in retail media ​requires a capability ​that understands ​retail media ​is more than media. The buyers and sellers have a shared interest in increased sales. By leveraging Buy Side, Sell Side and Shopper Expertise, our solution increases yield of retail media to preserve the shopper experience while driving performance for brands and incremental revenue for retailers. To achieve this, it requires reaching customers where they are, knowing and understanding them and engaging them how they want to be engaged. Reaching shoppers in the right moments means we must understand that every consumer has unique paths to purchase. I am energized to bring my experience to this new solution.” 

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About Dentsu   

Dentsu is the network designed for what’s next, helping clients predict and plan for disruptive future opportunities in the sustainable economy. Taking a people-centred approach to business transformation, dentsu combines Japanese innovation with a diverse, global perspective to drive client growth and to shape society. 



Paul Buranosky

Senior Vice President, Global Communications Lead, Solutions  


Asha Gopalan Ramirez  

Senior Vice President, Regional Communications & Marketing, dentsu Americas