It helps to bring a rumour under the scanner. Instead of keeping the industry guessing, WPP has put all speculations on the Bates 141 and Grey Worldwide merger to rest. Responding to exchange4media’s take on the rumour, Bates 141 and WPP has issued a statement categorically stating that there are no plans to merge Bates 141 and Grey Worldwide.
The statement said, “In response to the article ‘A Bates Grey 141 makes sense’ (published by exchange4media, on September 1, 2008), Bates 141 India has categorically refuted all rumours and speculations.”
Jeffrey Yu, Chairman, Bates 141, Asia Pacific, said, “There is absolutely no truth to these speculations. Bates 141 has done exceedingly well as a group over the past few years. We have successfully launched our unique Change positioning and identity in the market and are extremely focussed on our vision and strategy to establish ourselves as one of Asia’s premier networks.”
Digby Richards, CEO, Bates 141, Asia Pacific said, “I would like to assure all our colleagues and clients that there is no such move to merge the two entities. We are proud of our unique identity and culture and we’ll remain that way.”
Ranjan Kapur, Country Head, WPP India, confirmed this by adding, “I really don’t understand where this rumour could’ve originated from. There is no reason, strategic or otherwise, for WPP to consider merging Bates and Grey. They are two completely independent networks, both successful with their own plans. I would urge everyone not to speculate or fall prey to such rumour mongering!”
The statement ended with “Within the past three years, Bates 141 India has grown over 300 per cent to 450 employees, across offices in Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai and Kolkata. Its clients include top global and national brands such as AIG, Fiat, Virgin Mobile, ITC, Dabur, Marico, Cavin Kare, Hitachi, ABP Group and others. Bates 141 group offers integrated solutions in India that help its clients change mindsets and behaviours through the line.”
Obviously, even though the advertising industry thought that the merger makes sense, WPP doesn’t.
'A Bates Grey 141 makes sense'