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DDB gears to get stronger in India; a second agency on the cards

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DDB gears to get stronger in India; a second agency on the cards

DDB Worldwide is intensifying its focus in India. While the advertising brand has been present in India for some time, the presence is largely through it alliance with local partner Mudra Communication – a format that DDB is not about to change even for its future plans. All DDB brands – creative brand Mudra DDB, direct marketing brand Rapp Collins and digital capability Tribal DDB – are present in India in partnership with Mudra.

DDB Worldwide’s objective now is to create a stronger DDB led brand in India. Simply put, launch a second agency, where the brand name DDB gets more prominence.

A second DDB agency in India

In an exclusive conversation with exchange4media, John Zeigler, President & CEO, DDB Asia Pacific, Japan & India, said, “We have been working with our partners Mudra to create a stronger DDB-led identity in India. They are very excited about that possibility, as are we. We have not fully completed the discussions on how we would bring that to life but in the near future you would definitely see a much stronger DDB India brand, as well as a continued strengthened partnership with Mudra.”

DDB and Mudra are still in discussions on the final form of the agency, the equity share and the partnership structure and other such details. Nonetheless, there is clarity on some fundamental points. For beginners, Zeigler stated that both agencies would work in unison.

There also is the possibility of Mudra DDB being renamed. Zeigler didn’t comment on this straight on, but he explained, “Let’s just say that we won’t create any confusion with two DDB agencies in India. We would clarify the brand offering that is relevant to local as well as international clients, and would help clients to make the right decision on this. From the Mudra point of view, this gives Mudra the opportunity to clearly be the competitive brand, and it gives DDB the opportunity to be the international corporate.”

The deadline set for the launch of the second agency is end of 2009 or early 2010. However, Zeigler was quick to point out, “When I am talking now, I am talking in terms of our discussion. You may not hear on this till the end of this year or the actual form may be introduced in the market early next year as well.”

Omnicom in India

From the launch and then growth of OMD in India to laying the stepping stones for creating Omnicom Media Group in India, the media asset from the holding company have been busy increasing its share of the Indian advertising pie.

Amongst the creative disciplines, the complete ownership of TBWA, the launch of BBDO India, a second brand from BBDO (the first being RK Swamy BBDO) and then also the presence in the Diversified Agency Services in areas like public relations, Omnicom Group agencies have been focussing on India in a significant manner over the last few years.

Needless to say, many are waiting to see what can be expected from DDB in India in the near future.


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