Ad Agencies In Makeover Mode To Drive Expansion Plans

Mumbai: | Updated: Nov 29 2002, 05:30am hrs
With slow economic recovery on the horizon, there are some leading advertising agencies which also foresee a turnaround in fortunes and plan expansions to meet the evolving needs of its clients.

For instance, Leo Burnett India with capitalised billings of Rs 300 crore is now on an expansion mode. To handle the influx of new accounts, the agency is in the process of recruiting competent professionals, informs Leo Burnett India managing director Arvind Sharma. Incidentally, the agency is all set to unveil its new corporate identity and logo at its new office called Big Apple in Mumbai.

After JWT India, Leo Burnett India is now shifting its operations to a three-storied building in Parel, a suburb in Mumbai. Says Mr Sharma: Our new officeBig Applewill be housing our Mumbai operations and corporate office. We wanted not just an office, but a reflection of our visionmodern and bigger than what we are today.

As part of its expansion plans, Initiative Media, the media buying and planning company of Lintas India has floated Lintertainment, a specialised cinema and entertainment division and Ms Geetanjali Kirloskar will head this division.

As for the rationale behind the agencys new move, says Initiative Media president Ashish Bhasin: Film and entertainment are amongst the largest advertised categories abroad and given the size of our film industry, I think the potential for such advertising is great in India. Moreover, nobody has as yet approached films as a brand. We are excited about this new venture.

Says Ms Kirloskar: Given the challenges facing our film industry, I believe the time is right to provide professional support to promote films to the right target audience. The entire entertainment industry including film channels, music and theatre can benefit from Lintertainment.

Lintertainment will also help provide appropriate brand relations for both in-film and out of film brand associations. Further, Mr Bhasin claims that it is the first time in India that a professional venture, providing end-to- end entertainment solutions, is being promoted.

It is intended to even land research services to pre-test if a song will work or if an actor is appropriate for a role. Many film producers, film stars and production houses are keen to use Lintertainments services, adds Mr Bhasin.

Meanwhile, putting a stop to rumours, Publicis Groupe and Ambience DArcy Advertising have announced that with effect from January 1, 2003, Ambience will make a transition to Ambience Publicis, thus becoming a part of the Publicis Worldwide Network.

On this new development, says Ambience managing director Ashok Kurien: Publicis is a business-oriented network and suits our style and nature.

To handle the influx of new accounts, the agency is planning to strengthen its operations in major metros across the country. We plan to extend our specialised services to things like event management, direct marketing and public relations in Delhi, informs Mr Kurien.