Specials

What were the merger trends for marketing in 2018?

What were the merger trends for marketing in 2018?

https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/smartcrop_800x800/public/images/tv-images/2019/01/03/year.jpg?itok=t3A-QQAw

MUMBAI: The year 2018 will be known for a lot of things. It has been one of the most imperative years for the advertising and media industry. This year broke shackles and ideologies of how people traditionally perceived the industry. I think it is safe to say that the marketing books hereon will have a dedicated page for everything that occurred in 2018.

I am optimistic about 2018 being one of the best years for A&M industry (so far). Why, you ask? Because this has been one of the most momentous year for mergers and acquisitions. While news about mergers came in from all sectors of the media, the A&M world tasted its first big bite of consolidation this year.

We’ve all read and heard about the four extensive types of mergers, but it was only in 2018 where we witnessed all of them! The traditional case of two big networks (agencies) coming together, big agencies merging their businesses with small agencies, two small agencies coming together to take on big network agencies, and the most recent trend: consultancy firms opening agencies or merging with one.

Let’s start with the advertising giant WPP, where we saw a lot of action happen this year. One of the bigger mergers this year happened within the WPP group, where Wunderman and J. Walter Thompson were united to form Wunderman Thompson. The merger will help the group as Wunderman and J. Walter Thompson share many core clients, who will now have simpler access to the expertise of both agencies. Additionally, WPP’s GroupM, the leading global media investment group acquired an Indian digital agency, The Glitch. With this acquisition, The Glitch continues to work as an independently positioned brand, while taking advantage of GroupM’s larger infrastructure and ecosystem. 

With a promise to simplify the business, WPP’s Chief Executive Officer merged one of its largest agencies, Y&R with VML, that left the ad industry gasping for breath. The disappearance of the 95-year-old Y&R brand, which had been part of the WPP empire since 2000, was a moment to pause and reflect on the pressures that the industry in general and ad agencies, in particular, are facing from changing client demands.

Similarly, international advertising agency M&C Saatchi acquired Manish Bhatt-led Scarecrow Media, where the new entity is called M&C Saatchi Scarecrow. This is M&C Saatchi’s full-fledged attempt to get a stronger foothold in one of the most competitive ad markets in the world, India. Advertising agencies are finding ways to navigate through an increasingly volatile landscape. One of those ways is consolidating the hundreds of agency brands under their roofs and merging the entity with another agency. 

After years of headlines about consultancy companies eating ad agencies’ lunches, the two groups are increasingly starting to look alike. The consultancies are rising fast by gaining a foothold in the marketing department and wooing chief marketing officers with their vast array of data analytics solutions and strategies to solve big business problems that traditional agencies can no longer solve. Increasingly, we are seeing a lot of consultancies merging their business and resources with agencies to deliver better solutions to clients. The trend of consultancies and agencies coming together is shaking up the marketing industry. In 2018, we saw the likes of Accenture Interactive, PwC Digital Services, IBM iX and Deloitte Digital emerge as winners for brands as they are looking for areas to cut costs and drive better performance.

Right now, we’re at a point where the industry cares less about agency labels than ever before. This is an industry where so many people worry about whether something is an ad agency, a digital agency, a PR agency, or a consultancy. This may be the first time where the labels of agencies don’t really matter.

If your merger translates to 1+1=2, the merger makes no sense because there is no added value to it. However, only if your merger translates to 1+1 >2 (greater than 2), the time, effort and money that you put into the merger will be beneficial for both parties involved.

At the end of the day, I think consolidation is the way to go because it helps in playing on each other’s strength and delivering better results collectively. If agencies find the right partner to complement their existing skill set, it is only beneficial for both the parties. More importantly, the agencies and clients need to evolve with the changing time because their customers are evolving at a faster pace than them.

(The author is chief executive officer and co-founder, White Rivers Media. The views expressed here are his own and Indiantelevision.com may not subscribe to them)

Latest Reads

https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/09/28/auto-desk.jpg?itok=eDxaqPUg
Industry leaders to discuss tips on enhancing virtual shopping experience in new normal

NEW DELHI: It’s no new news that the impact of Covid2019 has been massive on digitisation and virtual properties. With people stuck at home, everything from studies to work, to shopping has moved online and this has given the e-commerce industry a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get new consumers...

Specials Event Coverage Occasions
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/05/07/ficci.jpg?itok=DCBtJjhj
FICCI - Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas releases FICCI Frames ‘Entertainment Law Book 2020’ Report

Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas, today released ‘Entertainment Law Book 2020’ report. The report highlights regulatory developments in the field of TV broadcasting and distribution, music, radio, filmed entertainment, and other segments...

Specials Event Coverage Ficci Frames
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/03/23/nepa.jpg?itok=RoQ0G9Yv
Research is important while creating content: Nepa India

MUMBAI: Research is a key ingredient before the launch of any product or brand. And creating content is nothing without appropriate research about the audience and their choices, explains Nepa India managing director Esha Nagar while giving a presentation at the fourth edition of The Content Hub...

Specials Event Coverage Content Hub
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/03/19/content.jpg?itok=4mbPkOgp
Spontaneity, gut feeling are fundamentals of my direction: Badhaai Ho director Amit Sharma

MUMBAI: The director is like the manager of a film who brings talent under one roof and extracts it to create good content, said film director and producer Amit Sharma while addressing fellow and budding content creators at the fourth edition of The Content Hub 2020 organised by indiantelevision....

Specials Event Coverage Content Hub
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/03/16/mrinal.jpg?itok=i2CPPY0K
Supernatural genre gives writers most creative liberty

Writers of the popular TV show Naagin, Mukta Dhond and  Mrinal Jha, explored the scope of the supernatural genre at The Content Hub 2020 organised by indiantelevision.com. Dhond said that the most exciting thing about fantasy is that it gives creative liberty to writers. As they say, anything is...

Specials Event Coverage Content Hub
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/03/16/sameer-nair.jpg?itok=2JzVVlne
Applause Entertainment’s Sameer Nair on digital content creation, self-regulation and creative freedom

Creativity, freedom of expression, self-regulation and content quality are some of the factors that come into play for digital platforms. These topics were addressed in a fireside chat between House of Cheer founder and CEO Raj Nayak and Applause Entertainment CEO Sameer Nair, at Indiantelevision....

Specials Event Coverage Content Hub
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/03/14/sooni.jpg?itok=g3qZuuEr
It's the golden age of content: Sooni Taraporevala

MUMBAI: Sooni Taraporevala, an Indian screenwriter, photographer and filmmaker best known for her work in Mississippi Masala, spoke on ‘The Golden Age of Content’ at The Content Hub 2020 organised by indiantelevision.com.

Specials Event Coverage Content Hub
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/03/13/frank..jpg?itok=Hn6cXSBy
Writers are the key to great content

At The Content Hub 2020 organised by indiantelevision.com, Tulsea talent manager Radhika Gopal and Matter Advisors founder and managing partner Caleb Franklin discussed the importance of creating an ecosystem and a platform for writers.

Specials Event Coverage Content Hub
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/03/13/2.jpg?itok=kPfBtKAh
Visuals go hand-in-hand with storytelling for compelling content

It takes massive effort, time and investment but delivers great result for producing high-quality content in terms of visuals, said Travelxp’s creative director Kamakhya Narayana Singh while sharing the advantages of 4K and 8K format during the fourth edition of The Content Hub 2020 hosted by...

Specials Event Coverage Content Hub

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories

* indicates required