Lodestar Universal, the latest entity to join the Indian media industry, was officially launched in India on August 3, 2006. Formed by merging Lodestar Media (the media arm of FCB Ulka) and Universal McCann (the media arm of McCann Ericsson), Lodestar Universal is a strategic move by the Inter Public Group of Companies (IPG) to join its resources on the media front.
As reported earlier by exchange4media, Lodestar Media’s Shashi Sinha would be heading the joint entity as CEO. He will be reporting to Universal McCann President and CEO, Nick Brien till David Morgan, Regional President, Universal McCann, assumes office by September 2006.
Brien has been a driving force behind this merger. Giving the rationale behind the merger, Brien said, “… needed an opportunity. Universal McCann is a global powerhouse and a media force to reckon with. There was a need in India to strengthen the brand’s presence. With Lodestar, there was an opportunity to create a significant alliance. We need to offer quality in our delivery to clients and in India we can achieve this better with this merger.”
IPG has executed examples like these in various markets like France and Hong Kong. However, the third IPG Group company in India, Lintas Media Group, the media arm of Lowe, will not be part of this merger.
Meanwhile, Sinha has created a core committee to manage the new structure, which comprises Nandini Dias, Arpita Menon and Anamika Mehta as Vice-Presidents. The second level comprises five general managers – Aditi Mishra, Hema Mallick, Vaishali Verma, Sejal Shah and Mahua Choudhary. The general managers will report to the core committee.
Brien pointed out that one of the most positive aspects of the merger had been the fair inclusion of people in key positions. Said Sinha, “It is not a takeover but a marriage. This brings the strengths of two units together and we want to ensure that we leverage these strengths fully to compete in the highly changing media scenario.”
IPG joins armies: Lodestar, Universal McCann merge in India, Shashi Sinha elected CEO of merged entity