JWT India to acquire agencies in events and digital space

Mumbai, May 28 | Updated: May 29 2007, 05:30am hrs
JWT India, the largest advertising agency in the country is planning to acquire a slew of mid-sized specialist agencies to enter new sectors such as digital communications and event management. For starters, the agency is in advanced talks with leading event management agencies which include, DNA Networks in Bangalore, Showbiz and Midas Events, informed key industry sources.

As for its foray into the highly competitive digital arena, the agency is currently in talks with leading digital agencies Design Garage and Bcwebwise, according sources. At present, JWT India's specialist units include RMG Connect (CRM, one-to-one marketing and database management), Fortune (financial advertising) and Ipan (public relations).

Increasingly, Indian advertising majors are opting for the acquisition route to beef up their creative offerings, according to industry analysts. Theres a great dearth for creative talent in the ad industry today. So, ad agencies are now scouting for acquisitions or strategic tie-ups to offer a 360 degree communication plan, said an analyst in Mumbai.

When contacted, Colvyn Harris, CEO of JWT India was however reluctant to comment on the agency's acquisition plans. We are open for a strategic tie-up or acquisition that fits into our strategic plans.We are looking for acquisitions -an ad agency or specialist agencies to widen the range of our services, he said. In a bid to upgrade its creative offerings, JWT is currently putting in place an action plan which includes new recruitments and value-added services. We are identifying the right talent to add muscle to our existing team. We have recently appointed a second national creative director-Josy Paul. Creativity is the centre of our universe, said Harris.

Across the road, Grey Global Group and Ogilvy & Mather India are also scouting for acquisitions to beef up their operations. On Grey Worldwide strategy, Nirvik Singh, president of Grey Global Group (South East Asia) said, We are constantly looking for the best strategic partners to widen our portfolio. We are talking to quite a few players in different sectors.