If industry & #BANNER1 & # sources are to be believed, UK-based advertising agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty (BBH) is likely to enter and establish its presence in India by 2007 through a tie-up with an agency of Indian origin. This agency is most likely to be Orchard Advertising, Leo Burnett's sister agency, say the sources. BBH, Leo Burnett and Orchard Advertising are all part of the Publicis Groupe.
It is learnt that talks are on regarding the matter and the development will be firmed up soon.
When agencyfaqs! sought confirmation of the deal from Nitish Mukherjee, managing director, Orchard Advertising, he denied any such development. "The best person to ask would be the BBH chief operating officer, Simon Sherwood. Beyond that, I have nothing to add," he said.
agencyfaqs! then contacted Arvind Sharma, managing director, Leo Burnett, India, but he also echoed Mukherjee's statement, saying that the news was just speculation. However, Sharma offered that Orchard had helped BBH make a business pitch a few months ago, and that was all there was as far as an association between the two agencies went.
Well, as per the industry grapevine, BBH executives discussed their agency's entry into India with several interested Indian agencies, after which Orchard was short-listed as the likely candidate. If and when this tie-up/merger happens, it is likely that a name change could be involved.
In various markets globally, BBH handles certain Unilever brands, including Surf and Axe.
Whether the agency's entry into India will imply a check into the creative duties of these brands is not known. The brands are currently handled by Lowe in India.
Sherwood could not be contacted.
For the record, Orchard Advertising was set up in India six years ago, in 2000, as a result of an association of Leo Burnett, India, with Dentsu, Japan. It is learnt through sources that at that point, Toyota Kirloskar Motor (a client of Dentsu, Japan) was looking to enter India and, since Dentsu didn't have Indian operations back then, it associated itself with Leo Burnett and set up Orchard Advertising (with the aim of handling Toyota's entry into India). But later, the association broke down and Orchard became a full subsidiary of Leo Burnett. (It's another story altogether that with Dentsu's entry in India later on, Toyota moved there, as was to be expected).
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