Interpublic Group to launch digital agency, Reprise Media, in India

By Kapil Ohri , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Digital | June 22, 2010
IPG is partnering with Interactive Avenues Marketing Solutions to roll out Reprise Media in India. The agency will offer complete digital media solutions

Highly placed sources in the industry have revealed to afaqs! that the US based Interpublic Group (IPG), a global provider of advertising and marketing services, is in the final stages of launching its digital agency, named Reprise Media, in India. A formal announcement about the development is expected soon.

& #BANNER1 & #Globally, Reprise Media is the social and search marketing arm of IPG. However, it is likely to offer a complete basket of digital solutions, ranging from online (social, search, display) to mobile marketing in India. Both digital creative and media services may be offered to advertisers.

The sources have further disclosed that Reprise Media (India) will not exist as an entity completely owned and operated by IPG. In fact, the agency will be formed in association with independent digital group Interactive Avenues Marketing Solutions Pvt. Ltd (IAMSPL). IAMSPL is the holding company behind two full service independent digital agencies, Interactive Avenues Pvt. Ltd (IAPL) and Interactive Universal Pvt. Ltd (IUPL). DGTL Media, which represents the ad network business named AdMagnet, is also owned by IAMSPL.

Thus, Reprise Media (India) will exist as a joint venture entity or digital agency, in which IPG will be expected to have a majority stake of more than 50 per cent, while IAMSPL will own a minority stake. Once Reprise Media becomes active in India, it will technically be the fourth company and third digital agency owned or co-owned by IAMSPL. All existing companies of IAMSPL have separate profit and loss accounts.

afaqs! has even figured out that the joint venture company has already received clearance from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB). However, both groups are in the last stages of sorting out certain legal formalities before the entity becomes active.

Sources close to the development have indicated that Interactive Avenues (IAPL) and AdMagnet will continue to be independent entities and IPG will have no control on these. However, the fate of Interactive Universal is still not clear. Interactive Universal is the second full service digital agency launched by IAMSPL more than 18 months ago to handle the digital media business of Lodestar Universal and some conflicting businesses. It is understood that IPG and Lodestar Universal have no stakes in Interactive Universal.

Senior level executives of Interactive Avenues were not available for comment at the time of filing this story.

It will be interesting to watch how this peculiar partnership between a global advertising group and an independent digital group works out in India.

For the record, IPG is a listed entity at New York Stock Exchange. In May, it acquired CUBOCC, a Brazil based digital creative agency.