Ambience's carefully guarded future plans are in open now. The agency remains a part of the Publicis group - and hence gets to retain the advertising account for Vicks and Wastern Union. As far as the other global D'arcy clients are concerned, Publicis is talking to them on a country to country basis and the decisions are supposed to be made soon.
Come January 1, 2003, the agency will be rechristened Publicis Ambience, with Publicis picking up D'arcy 53% stake in it.
Effectively, it means that Ambience becomes the second Publicis agency in the country - the first one being Publicis India. Would it not make life uncomfortable for Ambience? Says Nakul Chopra, President, Ambience D'arcy, "We have coexisted as the part of the same group with Saatchi and Saatchi and now Leo Burnett, and it has been smooth sailing. So I don't perceive any problems in future either."
But what would happen at the time of a global realignment? Who would handle the account in India - Publicis India or Publicis Ambience? Says Chopra, "There are ways to overcome such situations, and it happens maybe once in a couple of years. It is not an every day affair". He adds, "As far as local clients are concerned, it would depend on strengths of individual agencies in the local market. I hope both agencies will carry forward with good work and emerge stronger".
It indicates that the agency that had to adjust to the work culture of D'arcy would have to once again adopt a new culture and bring changes in its workings. How difficult a task would it be? Says Chopra, "Every company has its own culture, and hence there might be some changes as we move from D'arcy to Publicis. However, whatever insight Elsie (Nanji) Ashok (Kurian) and I had into the culture of Publicis is pretty encouraging".