GumGum commits to Japan with Kenzo Selby as new MD


GumGum, a contextual-first, global digital advertising platform, showed its deepening commitment to the Japanese market with the appointment of seasoned digital media executive, Kenzo Selby to lead its growing business in Japan.

Kenzo Selby

Selby and the Japanese team bring The Mindset Platform and the inevitable advertising revolution that it represents, to GumGum’s Japanese partners.

He will focus on growing GumGum’s brand presence in the market, as well as deepening the firm’s relationships with brands, agencies, and publishers to embrace a mindset-first, cookie-less solution.

“We are excited about the future of GumGum here in Japan, as we bring our industry-leading mindset-first approach to the market”, said GumGum, CEO Phil Schraeder.

“Kenzo brings a wealth of experience and success in driving massive growth in the Japanese market and we look forward to supporting him in securing a high market share and educating our partners on the value a mindset-first approach can bring to driving the best possible business outcomes”.

Selby joins GumGum after more than six years driving the growth story for Teads in Japan as Head of Sales, leading a 14-person strong sales team.

Prior to Teads, Selby was a sales leader at AOL’s BeOn. He also brings a wealth of business management and financial acumen from experience gathered at Ernst & Young and other accounting firms where he focused on Japanese Corporations doing business in Australia.

Selby will replace outgoing MD, Naokazu Wakaguri, who has driven the growth of the business in Japan for five years.

Naokazu will support Selby in a transition period through the end of the year before leaving GumGum to pursue personal projects at the start of 2024.

“Kenzo’s appointment represents GumGum’s continued commitment to strong growth in Japan through bringing best-in-market media, targeting and measurement capabilities to this vibrant and dynamic media landscape”, said Head of Media, JAPAC Sorrel Osborne.

“As always, our focus is on delivering outstanding business outcomes for our valued partners in Japan and Kenzo is expertly positioned to do so, with the support of the global business”.

Outgoing MD, Naokazu, said: “As I embark on my next stage, my belief in GumGum and the future it holds for our industry is strong.

“With Kenzo as the new leader, I am excited for the next chapter of GumGum in this region and am fully committed to providing my ongoing support during this transition period.

“We have all the ingredients for success; a compelling vision, amazing products, respectful people, ethics, and great culture.”

GumGum brings a unique vision and product offering to the Japanese market through its blueprint for the future of digital advertising, The Mindset Matrix.

This industry-leading concept is pushing brands to leave behaviour targeting behind by helping brands pinpoint the environments that drive the most attention and aligning ad creative to capture a consumer’s frame of mind, resulting in brand lift and boosted outcomes.

GumGum’s accredited contextual intelligence solution, Verity, combines computer vision (CV) and natural language processing (NLP) to process all available signals within a digital environment.

Verity is able to analyse text, images, audio and video to gain a comprehensive, human-like understanding of web, mobile, or CTV content.

“There is a huge opportunity for GumGum here in Japan as advertisers are looking for ways to deliver campaigns that demand attention and drive outcomes”, Selby said.

“GumGum’s Mindset Matrix will give advertisers the ability to understand their campaigns on a deeper level and pinpoint where to optimise for improved ROI.

“I’m excited to be joining GumGum’s amazing team and will be growing our market presence”.

Selby is based out of Tokyo, Japan and reports directly to Interim Head of JAPAC, Sorrel Osborne