DraftFCB looks at key acquisitions across markets

By Prajjal Saha and Anushree Bhattacharyya , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising | February 21, 2011
Laurence J Boschetto, chief executive officer and president, DraftFCB, was in the country recently. He met with afaqs! to reveal some of his plans for the year.

In the coming months, DraftFCB will close four acquisition deals across its key markets. Laurence J Boschetto, chief executive officer and president, DraftFCB, revealed the same to the afaqs! team, while he was in town recently.

Boschetto says, "In the UK, we plan to close the acquisition of a digital agency in the next four-to-six weeks."

This will be followed by another digital agency acquisition in the US. In Brazil, the agency plans to acquire a retail and promotions agency, while for China, the plan is to get a data and analytics company on board.

When asked about plans for Indian operations, Boschetto says that the plan is to delve in experiential marketing services, and that the agency was looking at an acquisition in this area, as well.

He says, "India loves socialising. People walk a lot, congregate a lot, which may be because of the climate or tradition. However, I have not seen many advertisers using experiential marketing as a tool to talk to consumers. One of the areas we are looking at building is street guerrilla marketing."

DraftFCB is also looking at retail and promotions as the other areas in which to develop its expertise.

Revealing further on the India plans, Boschetto says, "The next area is digital, which comes in many flavours now -- from banner ads to interactive, to social media. But, our approach will be different, and will not be just through technology. We plan to tap this particular area by understanding consumer behaviour, and how the medium influences their decision making."

Boschetto believes that the current form of digital agencies needs to undergo a change in the coming years. He is of the opinion that the pure-play digital agencies will not be alive in the next five years, and going forward, it has to be mergers and acquisitions.

Boschetto is a firm believer of integration of services. He says, "The concept of a specialised agency only works when one is pioneering into a new space. There is mystique and uncertainty attached to it, as there is no way to measure its effectiveness. In the marketing world, be it the CFOs, CEOs or marketing managers, every one is working towards optimising investments. The more one segments and breaks up budgets, the more it will lead to ineffectiveness."

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