afaqs! news bureau

Dentsu: The network that’s happiest acquiring...

A recap of Dentsu Aegis Network’s key acquisitions in India in the recent past.

Dentsu Aegis Network (DAN) has signed an agreement to acquire Happy Creative Services. Happy will join the global mcgarrybowen network of agencies and will be rebranded as Happy mcgarrybowen.

Acquisitions have always appeared to be a major part of the network’s growth strategy. The Dentsu Aegis Network itself was formed when Japanese advertising giant Dentsu announced, that it would acquire British media buying company Aegis Media (for US$4.9 billion), in mid-2012.

Dentsu: The network that’s happiest acquiring...

Recall that in May this year, we interviewed Ashish Bhasin, chairman and CEO, DAN, South Asia, about this plans for the agency network in India and the role acquisitions play in it.

When asked to comment on how DAN seems to be more focused on acquisitions than on growing its existing assets, Bhasin had said, "That's a perception. It exists because we've beaten our competition to acquisitions that they would have loved to - but weren't able to - close. People can see whatever they want to see, they can defend themselves in whatever way they want to. Roughly, 75-80 per cent of our growth has been organic. Over the past 12-18 months we've won around Rs. 2,500 crore worth of new business.

It is true that acquisition is an integral part of our growth strategy, but it has to supplement our organic growth; by itself, it is meaningless. Acquisitions are few and far between. Over the past two to three years we've made around three acquisitions and not all of them are of huge scale. It's often about filling a capability we don't have. It's very 'short term' to do an acquisition to increase revenue or profit. That never works. You'll fall flat on your face in two to three years."

In the wake of Dentsu’s most recent 'Happy’ news, we take a quick look at the network’s key acquisitions in the India market, in the recent past:

In October last year, DAN announced the acquisition of Fountainhead Entertainment , an event and experiential agency, founded in 1994 by chairman Brian Tellis, managing director Neale Murray, and director Otis D'Souza. Then in January this year, DAN announced the merger of Fountainhead and psLIVE India to form Fountainhead-MKTG, marking MKTG’s foray into India.

In January last year, DAN announced the acquisition of WATConsult , a homegrown social and digital media agency. WATConsult, established in 2007, then became part of Isobar, DAN's global digital marketing agency, and was renamed 'WATConsult - Linked by Isobar'.

In mid-2014,DAN announced the acquisition of majority share in Milestone Brandcom , an out-of-home (OOH) specialist agency in India, established in 2009 Nabendu Bhattacharyya.

In 2013, Dentsu India acquired majority stake in Webchutney , a digital agency; in 2012 Dentsu acquired digital agency iProspect Communicate 2, which was rebranded as iProspect India in 2015.

2012 was also the year Dentsu acquired 51 per cent stake in Taproot India.

Have news to share? Write to us