Former Nestlé Japan CEO Speaks Out: If I Knew, What Were These Companies Doing?

On the 11th, former Nestlé Japan CEO and entrepreneur Takaoka Kozo commented on how various companies were responding to the Johnny’s issue on his Facebook.

Talking frankly about the issue, Takaoka said

To be honest, I’m watching the fallout happen with advertisers with a sense of bewilderment. Even I, who was one of those advertising companies before, knew over 20 years ago about the rumors surrounding Johnny Kitagawa and his sexual abuse of children. The media certainly knew much more than I did, if only because I had learned about those rumors from people in the industry and in media.

I feel like they simply did not talk about the situation because of the fear that doing so would provoke a backlash from the agency, and that in speaking out there would be harsh consequences with their relationship with Johnny’s when the talents were at the peak of their popularity.

From a corporate governance perspective, this is exactly why Nestlé Japan under my watch had never once hired a Johnny’s talent in any advertising campaign. If anything, there was probably collusion between many of the bigger clients and Johnny’s to silence the voices who did want to speak out about the issue. Those companies that are cutting off contact now absolutely knew about this problem before, and if they didn’t, that is something they should deeply be ashamed about.

Japanese media should take this moment to reflect on how there exists a deep collusion between various forces to silence major scandals when it involves very popular acts.


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