After acquiring majority stake in Bangalore-based design agency Ray + Keshavan, WPP is now looking at merging Bates Enterprise and David in the region. Sources close to the development have said that WPP was constantly in talks with both the agencies and a clear picture would emerge in less than a week’s time.
The merger talks had been on for quite some time, but it is only now that things are gathering momentum in this regard. The sources revealed that it made better business sense to have either a large agency or a boutique agency than having several mid-size ones. Though several of Bates Enterprise and David executives agreed that discussions were going on for the merger, they declined to divulge further details.
The name of the merged entity could not be ascertained though it was learnt that both the agencies would like to retain their names. It remains to be seen how they can be worked into the new name.
When contacted, Josy Paul, Chairman and National Creative Director, David, admitted, “The talks are going on and the intent is to merge both the entities in the best possible way and make it happen. I can’t really reply on what will happen at the end of the line as things are not clear at this stage, but I can say that everyone is trying their best to make it work.”
Paul further said that the merger would be complementary to both and that the merged entity would be much bigger in size. ‘Fit’ would be a better word to describe the merger of Bates Enterprise and David, he said.
But is it? David has evolved its distinct style with Paul at its helm, which doesn’t exactly seem to be the right fit for Bates Enterprise at the outset. It was only last year that David had undergone re-branding and had dropped the ‘rmg’ tag from its name.
To this, Paul responded, “If the merger happens it would be akin to navy meeting the pirates and creating a new world of excitement, which surely will make the fishes nervous.”
It may be recalled that last year Bates India and Enterprise Nexus were merged. Bates Enterprise Delhi and Mumbai branches recently moved in to renovated office premises in the respective metros where more space had been created to accommodate the staff of the merged entity. It remains to be seen how Bates Enterprise copes with another merger.