After three decades, Hindustan Thompson Associates (HTA) will re-christen itself to J. Walter Thompson (JWT) within September itself.
The re-branding marks the end of the line for a name that dates to 1929. JWT changed its name to HTA in 1970 as the government at that time had mandated that no fully- owned agency could handle public sector accounts. Almost 22% of HTA's business came from the public sector. With the transfer of equity to Indian shareholders, the agency decided to mark the new ownership with a change of name.
The reason citied for this change in the name is the globalization and the new ownership structure. As reported by exchange4media in December last year, the government had allowed WPP Holding' Mauritius subsidiary to increase its equity stake from 60 per cent to 74 per cent in Hindustan Thompson Associates, India's largest agency.
Global advertising major WPP bought shares worth Rs 57.60 crores to up its stake from 60 per cent to 75 per cent. According to sources, WPP bought almost 68,000 shares from the employees of HTA. This translated into WPP buying one equity share of Rs 100 for Rs 8090. A lot of HTA employees reaped a windfall in the beginning of this year.
Hindustan Thompson Private Limited will remain as the holding company and will continue to be the registered entity as before. Operationally, there will be no changes and Mike Khanna would continue to be the Chief Executive.
J. Walter Thompson, the advertising agency will be a division of Hindustan Thompson Associates. The other divisions and specialist units will include the existing ones like IPAN , ThompsonConnect, Thompson Design and Thompson Social and Rural.
With this re branding the erstwhile HTA will still echo with chants of "Phir bhi dil hai Hindustani"!
First run on exchange4media on Monday, 2nd September at 3 PM