afaqs! news bureau

Aegis Media to acquire stake in search agency Communicate2

The group plans to strengthen its search marketing services in India with the investment

Aegis Media, the media communications division of the $20 billion Aegis Group, announced on Thursday that it has plans to acquire a stake in the Mumbai based search marketing agency, Communicate2.

There are two ways in which this deal (the financial details of which were not discussed) will benefit the Aegis Group – by including search marketing in its media agency, Carat, and by launching its digital agency, Isobar, in India.

Aegis Media to acquire stake in search agency Communicate2
Morris, Bhargava & Stahle announcing the deal
“The global advertising landscape is changing rapidly and the reward for offering innovative advertising solutions to clients is immense. Central to our belief is that all brands should create experiences and communications where their consumers choose to spend time to align, tell stories and be in a personal relationship with the brand. Search is one of the key components for a successful campaign today,” said Nigel Morris, chief executive officer, Isobar, in an official communique.

Isobar is reportedly one of the largest digital networks in the world, with billings of more than $1.5 billion and operations in 38 countries.

“This affiliation will enable Communicate2 to gain access to the Aegis network and global tools, and partner with Isobar’s search marketing capabilities, the largest global search and digital network...We are looking forward to integrating with Isobar and Carat, the most renowned communication brands in the world,” added Vivek Bhargava, CEO of Communicate2.

The online advertising industry is estimated to be worth Rs 480 crore in 2008 by FICCI-PwC. Of this, industry estimates show that search advertising constitutes 40 per cent and the segment is quickly increasing in share.

“We are dedicated to continuing our investment in India and this is an important step in demonstrating how focussed we are on our positioning as a consumer centric company, which is digitally ahead. Communicate2 has an outstanding track record and will form a strong, integrated solution for our clients. Bhargava and his team will gain access to our global knowledge to develop their clients and we will have access to their unique knowledge of the Indian online market. It’s a win-win situation,” said Patrick Stahle, CEO, Aegis Media.

Apart from Carat and Isobar, the Aegis Group also owns research agency Synovate, brand consultancy Vizeum Connections, and out of home agency Posterscope. Only the first three have operations in India; Isobar will be the latest addition.