In a bid
to become the second largest media buying entity in India, Publicis Groupe Media has undertaken a major step. It has integrated the media buying operations of its two entities in India - Starcom MediaVest Group and Zenith Optimedia. This combined buying unit, called India Media Exchange, will service clients from both the agencies.
This has been done in order to reap the benefits of scale, apart from sharing of knowledge pools and resources. According to Jack Klues, chairman, Publicis Groupe Media, "In today's cluttered and changing media environment, consolidation is the only way to grow."
"The media environment is awash with problems such as insufficient data, benchmarks and audits," says Shanker. "With this unit, we hope to take media buying beyond the terms 'price', 'ratings' and 'readership', and offer customised solutions to our clients by introducing a science to the process." This will be done with a category-buying approach that will bring tools and techniques to media buying.
So far, Publicis Groupe Media has implemented this consolidated media buying in only one other market, China, where the entity is called China Media Exchange. According to Klues, this strategy has not been implemented in other markets such as the US, as in these places, Starcom and Zenith are big ticket enterprises in their own right, and clients there would not appreciate the benefits of integrated buying.
D Sriram, CEO, Asia-Pacific, Starcom MediaVest, asserts that India Media Exchange will not delve into the concept of bulk buying in the manner reportedly followed by its arch-rival, CTG. CTG is believed to buy media slots in bulk for eventual sale to its clients. Publicis' India Media Exchange (IMX) reportedly plans to buy media space for clients only when they need it. IMX will also be open to buying collectively for clients with similar needs, or even for a single client in order to avail the price advantage.
India Media Exchange will be headed by Shyam Shanker, who will function as its president. He moves in from Bennett, Coleman & Co as vice-president, business and commercial. Shanker has earlier worked in the procurement and materials management industry for Shaw Wallace & Co, Dabur India, Marico Industries and Blow Plast, apart from BCCL.
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