afaqs!

Trevor Beattie's BMB enters India in 50:50 joint venture with Madison

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | September 01, 2010
With the JV, Madison World's advertising business, mc2, will be merged and the new entity will be called BMB Madison Advertising

In a bid to step up its creative offering in India, Madison World has entered into a 50:50 joint venture (JV) with UK based BMB to create BMB Madison Advertising in India. With this development, BMB (Beattie McGuiness Bungay) sets up its operations in India, after having planned its entry for a while now.

As part of the partnership, Madison World's current advertising business, mc2, will be merged with the JV.

Sam Balsara, chairperson and managing director, Madison World admits that for long, Madison has been best known for the media duties that it handles for its clients, while he has been perceived to be a media expert. The advertising business, in the process, had taken a backseat.

Wanting to match or even outdo Madison Media, the way forward was seen to be a JV.

"We wanted to give advertising a lot more focus. For a long time now, we have been exploring various options to beef up our creative offering. We have found the right partner in BMB and are sure that we will now be able to offer clients a formidable product in the creative and full service area of advertising. With this initiative, we have filled an important gap in Madison World offering across all communication functions," he adds.

BMB Madison Advertising will be led by Prabha Prabhu, chief executive officer. Soon, a chief creative officer from UK will be appointed, who will be based in India.

Andrew McGuiness, one of the founders of BMB, tells afaqs! that while the plans to enter India was always a top priority, the agency actively began to look into it about 12-18 months ago.

"We wanted to do something in India but we wanted to do it the right way. This could be the beginning of something special," he says.

"It is important to have strong cultural and local links in a country you begin operations in. India is a high growth and high creativity market. There is a lot of strong competition and terrific work among brands that we see here. This sets the benchmark for even better work ahead. We have enormous respect for Indian advertising," adds McGuiness.

Trevor Beattie, founding partner, BMB says that he finds Indian advertising to be rather similar to that in the UK - and not like advertising in the US, which he thinks is more "business-like".

"India is one of the friendliest nations in the world. We want to work with talented but nice people. India has more of that," he says.

When asked if international clients would be shared in India, McGuiness says that there could be possibilities of talks with brands that are planning to enter India.

Operations are expected to start within the next few weeks - in a new office that is being set up in Mumbai.

BMB was launched in 2005 in the UK by Beattie, McGuiness and Bil Bungay. Besides India, the agency has offices in London and New York and handles clients such as McCain, Carling, Diageo, ING, Nissan, Samsung and Virgin Money, among others.

Madison World, on the other hand, is a 22 year old diversified communication group, with 20 units across 10 specialised functions including advertising, media, PR, out of home, rural, retail, entertainment, mobile, events and sports across nine cities in India, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

Madison World deals with clients such as Airtel, Cadbury, General Motors, Godrej, TVS, Marico, McDonald's, Tata Tea and P&G, amongst several other blue chip clients.

mc2's client list includes brands such as Brother International (India), Rajasthan Tourism, Organic India and Star Union Dai-ichi Life Insurance.

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