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Mudra, DDB on the prowl for ad agency

03-September-2004
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Mudra, DDB on the prowl for ad agency

Mudra, the country's fourth largest advertising agency, is looking at buying a second agency in association with international outfit Doyle Dane Bernbach Worldwide (DDB). Currently DDB, a part of the largest advertising conglomerate Omnicom, holds a 10 per cent stake in Mudra.

“The new agency will have an independent identity and we will make an announcement shortly,” said Madhkar Kamath, managing director, Mudra Communications.

Kamath refused to give details about the equity structure in the impending deal with DDB citing legal reasons. But he said that the second agency is part of Mudra's plan to emerge as a complete marketing services group.

In 2003, Kamath had laid out a raodmap for the agency whereby Mudra would double its current Rs 850-crore revenues in the next three years.

“Instead of a being a single agency, we are looking to become a group of agencies under the Mudra brandname,” said Kamath.

The new agency will also provide an opportunity for DDB to increase its presence in the Rs 9,000-crore Indian advertising market.

In the past, Keith Reinhard, DDB Worldwide's chairman, had also stated that the agency is looking for a bigger presence in the country in partnership with Mudra.

“In the next few days, before we finalise our new agency, we will be making an announcement about a tie and a new venture in a speciality business area,” Kamath said.

According to sources, the new venture will be in the area of below-the-line promotions and event management. According to sources, Mudra's Digital Branding Solutions (DBS) which operates in the internet advertising space with revenues close to Rs 20-crore will become part of the global Tribal DDB network.

Currently, despite having 125 clients, the Reliance group remains Mudra's single largest client with annual billings of close to Rs 100-crore.

But the agency is planning to increase its marketshare and also attain creative leadership. And as part of the plan Mudra had brought in Ramesh Ramanathan from Saatchi&Saatchi as its national creative head.

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