Even as speculation is rife that the Rs 500-crore Percept IMC may have bought over Mumbai-based Imageads & Communications Pvt. Ltd, its managing director, CD Ramachandran maintains that the agency actually shares a "strategic alliance" with the former.
Describing it as a "synergy", he claims that one of the key areas of the alliance is event management, where Percept shows a strong presence through Percept D'Mark, its event and entertainment company established in 1994. "We offer an integrated package of advertising, PR and event management to our clients. Hence, our association with Percept comes in very handy due to its diverse interests. Besides, Percept is big in the north and Imageads has a strong presence down south. Thus, in a way we bridge geographical distances through this arrangement because where they do not have office, we do and vice versa."
Besides Mumbai, Imageads has a network of offices in the southern cities of Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai and Coimbatore with clients such as Shaw Wallace, Orchid Chemicals, Oriental Insurance, Bank of India and the Nagarjuna Group. The agency's turnover for this year is estimated at Rs 50 crore.
Percept, on the other hand, provides a range of services in the areas of advertising, direct marketing, events, celebrity endorsements, sales promotions, in-film product placements, social marketing, PR and web solutions. Some of its key clients include Hero Honda, S Kumar's, Bharti Enterprises, Sahara India, Polaroid, Siemens Telecom and Kinetic Engineering.
Interestingly, both, Ramachandran and Harindra Singh, vice-chairman and managing director of Percept IMC, refuse to either confirm or deny the news of the acquisition. When pressed for details, Rajesh Pant, CEO, Percept Advertising says, "The two agencies happen to be friendly with each other. Imageads has a base in the south and we are also waiting to spread our wings. Instead of getting into an M&A game we thought of getting into an arrangement that does not transcend into anything commmercial. It is a friendly relationship."
Ramachandran does, however, indicate that the two agencies have worked together on Bobcards, (Bank of Baroda's credit card service) in the areas of event management and PR as well as with a large paint company, whose name he refuses to reveal.
Talking about the current alliance, he states that the alliance has been on for a while, hinting that it "continues in a stronger manner now". "It is an open alliance and we could be looking at other areas as well. However, at this juncture, it is difficult to predict which way the relationship will head," he adds. © 2002 agencyfaqs!