Leo Burnett On Restructuring Mode, Starts New Division

Mumbai: | Updated: Sep 22 2003, 05:30am hrs
After bagging the Rs 100 crore advertising account of Indian Oil Company Ltd (IOC), Leo Burnett India is now chalking out an aggressive growth strategy. As part of its expansion plan, the agency has launched a new division called-LeoStage-which is headed by Mr Sujit Nair.As the name suggests, the main objective behind this move is to connect the world of brands with live performances on the stage,says Mr Arvind Sharma, managing director, Leo Burnett India.

In addition, the agency is also in the process of restructuring its operations to offer value added services to its clients.To start with the agency has appointed Mr Venkat Mallik as its national director for clients services who will also handle the agencys new account win such as IOCL.As part of the restructuring process, we plan to have new thrust areas and structures in our creative functions. With the induction of Mr KV Sridhar as national creative director, we will be defining new thrust areas in a couple of weeks, he adds.At present, the agencys capitalised billings stand at Rs 500 crore.

As for the agencys new division,says Mr Sharma: The service, we offer is the first of its kind in India.We are looking at international events to build brands. We hope to get a very popular music brand in India within two months.At present, Leo Burnetts other major divisions include, Leo Entertainment (film-based promotions), Leo Activation (events & promotions) and iLeo (loyalty programmes. Incidentally, the new wing will offer specialised services to companies who are not on the rooster of Leo Burnett, informs Sujit Nair, head of LeoStage.

The accent seems to be on building brands through ground promotions and below-the-line activities in the Indian advertising industry. Realising the significance of this mode of marketing, many ad agencies have floated independent divisions in the last few years. The major players in this segment include, Ogilvy Live(events & promotions division of O&M) and Lintertainment among others.

So how different is LeoStage from other players in this non-traditional communication field Says Mr Sujit Nair: In the entertainment industry,the brands are generally associated with events through sponsorships-Either the companies are title sponsors or co-sponsors for many events. But we go beyond sponsorships to look at the impact of these events on the bottom lines of the companies. The new wing of Leo Burnett is already handling clients like IOCL, Bajaj Electricals and Philips India, informs Mr Nair. To announce the launch of LeoStage, the agency has already begun sending direct mailers to many Indian corporates.

Even as Leo Burnett India is rolling out its new initiatives, other advertising majors are gearing up to gain a leading edge in the highly competitive field, observe industry analysts.