Post Lowe acquisition, IPG to launch its global units in India

By , agencyfaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | July 04, 2007
Some of its global units slated for launch include full service agency Rivet, promotion and event marketing firm Momentum, and a 24-hour production studio

Interpublic Group

(IPG) has some aggressive plans in India, now that it has acquired a 100 per cent stake in Lintas India. For the record, Lintas India was founded in 1969 with IPG then holding 40 per cent of the equity (it acquired another 9 per cent in 1998, and the remaining 51 per cent about a month ago). Now that Lintas India and all its group companies (Lowe India, Lintas IMAG and Lintas Media Services) fall under IPG, the global network has plans on integrating its services in India.

Explaining the rationale behind the acquisition, Stephen Gatfield, EV-P, network operations, IPG, and CEO, Lowe Worldwide said India was rapidly placing itself on the world map, with its high growth and competence.

Stephen Gatfield
Further, as Lintas India is a major player in the domestic market, it is an important hub for MNC clients as well as regional ones. "With technologies quickly catching up, it was time for us to look at this market more seriously," added Gatfield. As a result of this acquisition, IPG's investment in nurturing India's talent, skills and creativity will increase. Simultaneously, it will also allow Indian creatives from Lintas get an access to IPG toolkits and training programmes in a more phased manner. Next, Indian talent will also be outsourced into other IPG markets for relevant purposes.

Perhaps most important is that IPG is looking at launching some of its well-known global entities in India, which will work closely with Lintas India. Some of these entities slated for launch include Rivet - IPG's agency that combines traditional and integrated marketing (a full-service agency model), Momentum Worldwide - the promotion and event marketing firm, R/GA - the digital technology and new media specialist, and Futurebrand - Lintas' global design and brand identity unit.

In addition to these units, IPG also has plans on setting up a 24-hour production studio in India, which can therefore enable Lintas India to offer cost-effective, holistic solutions to its clientele.

Prem Mehta
Gatfield particularly stresses on the need for a specialist mobile marketing offering across all its 10 hubs (important markets, including India), for which IPG will soon announce a joint-venture with a well known global player in the mobile technology space. This joint venture entity will look towards drafting innovative mobile marketing solutions including blue-casting. "We fully intend to tap into India's cost advantages, especially when it comes to technology, analytics, and production," says Gatfield.

IPG fully intends to imbibe the recently redesigned Lowe Worldwide philosophy in India, that of the 'High Value Ideas Company'. This model is a shift from the traditional approach to advertising (intrusion-driven) to the new one (engagement-driven).

Says Prem Mehta, CMD, Lintas India, "Our global clients now require integrated management teams for their brands. Similarly, our Indian clients have started demanding more services outside of the country."

"Being a complete part of the IPG network will help us on both counts," he adds.

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