TDK is no longer advertising on the giant video screens that overlook London's Piccadilly Circus, forming one of the most iconic sights in the UK's capital city. The move means that Japan now has no presence on the famous collection of electronic billboards after decades in which the likes of Sanyo, Panasonic, Fujifilm, Canon, and others occupied space as their home nation grew into a technological force.
The space now appears to be occupied by British broadcaster ITV, alongside companies like Samsung, Coca-Cola, Hyundai, and McDonalds:
And TDK used its final hours to broadcast a farewell message. "We will continue to paint a bright future with our original technologies," it read. "Thank you Piccadilly Circus. Thank you London."
The move no doubt makes sense from a financial perspective; although TDK was making use of some of the most valuable advertising placing in the world, with millions viewing it every week, a spokesperson tells The Wall Street Journal that the decision was made to reflect the company's shift away from consumer products.
I also personally feel that Piccadilly Circus hasn't ever been the same since the mid-to-late 2000s, when most advertisers changed their displays from neon lighting to LCD screens. But it's still sad to note Japan's departure from this most public of world stages, even if I haven't bought a TDK product since my mixtape-making days.