After much speculation, the Publicis Groupe has acquired one of the largest independent agencies, to be integrated into Saatchi & Saatchi India. exchange4media had reported about the possible merger in August 2013 (http://www.exchange4media.com/52530_will-saatchi-saatchi-and-law-kenneth-join-hands.html).
Saatchi & Saatchi India will be re-branded as L&K Saatchi & Saatchi, which will strongly reinforce the agency’s presence in India between its offices in Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Kolkata.
Law & Kenneth Chairman and Managing Director, Praveen Kenneth will manage the new entity in the same role. He will join the Saatchi & Saatchi Asia-Pacific board and will work directly with Chris Foster, Chairman and CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi Asia-Pacific.
As is known, Law & Kenneth was founded in 2004 by Praveen Kenneth and Andy Law, along investor and co-founder, Anita Roddick of The Body Shop, and counts over 285 professionals. It has since grown into a full service agency specialising in traditional and digital advertising, branding and marketing. The agency serves a wide range of local and global clients, including Renault, Dabur, Tata AIG Insurance, Godrej, ITC, Reliance,Idea and Hero MotoCorp.
The Law & Kenneth management team will assume the management operations of L&K Saatchi & Saatchi, creating a strong value proposition combining the best of both agencies. The senior management team of Law & Kenneth, including, Anil S Nair (CEO and Managing Partner), Sandhya Srinivasan (Chief Strategy Officer and Managing Partner), and Anil K Nair (CEO Digital and Managing Partner) will continue their respective roles in the new entity.
Law & Kenneth’s CFO Vijay Agarwal will report to Johann Xavier, Regional CFO for Saatchi & Saatchi Asia-Pacific.
Commenting on the development, Maurice Lévy, Chairman and CEO, Publicis Groupe said, “We are excited to be adding the breadth and depth of talent and resources of Law & Kenneth to the Saatchi & Saatchi network in India, a growing and important market for Publicis Groupe as a whole. Praveen has built an impressive network throughout the country, one that will provide a heightened added value and amutually beneficial relationship for both existing and future clients. We are glad to be welcoming him back into the Publicis Groupe family.” Kenneth was CEO of Publicis India from 1999-2003.
Chris Foster added here, “Law & Kenneth brings an ideas-driven entrepreneurial spirit and a comprehensive range of services to Saatchi & Saatchi, including advertising, design and, importantly, a strongly integrated digital presence with its digital business Digital Law & Kenneth. The Saatchi & Saatchi global network is dedicated to strengthening its focus in Asia-Pacific, home to 60 per cent of the world’s population and several vibrant economies. India is a lynchpin in this equation. We believe that with our combined knowledge, skills and creativity, nothing is impossible in this country and this market.”
“Law & Kenneth was born out of passion and has always focused on adding value to client brands and to the lives of people we touch every day. This has helped us become the largest independent agency in India in just over 10 years,” Praveen Kenneth said, adding, “Our story is an example of the Saatchi & Saatchi spirit of ‘Nothing Is Impossible’. The combination of Law & Kenneth’s stability, size, proven success and experience in India’s dynamic market place, together with Saatchi & Saatchi’s iconic status and mystique, results in a creative powerhouse that is L&K Saatchi & Saatchi. Success for us will be to use the philosophy of Lovemarks to win the hearts of Indian consumers and grow our clients’ brands and reputations.”
This acquisition follows those of Beehive into Publicis Worldwide in October 2013 and Neev into Razorfish earlier in 2013. The formation of L&K Saatchi & Saatchi is the next in a series of steps the network is undertaking to restructure its India operations and optimise the massive potential for growth present in the market. Publicis Groupe counts today 10 global networks present in the Indian market (Publicis Worldwide, Saatchi & Saatchi, Leo Burnett, BBH, Starcom Mediavest Group, ZenithOptimedia, DigitasLBi, VivaKi, MSLGroup and PHCG), combining over 3,000 professionals.
Publicis Group in India has been on a very conscious growth strategy of building a stronger base, which started with bringing on board Bobby Pawar from JWT to strengthen the Group’s creative offering and Partha Sinha from BBH India to solidify the strategic planning function. It will be a boon for Saatchi & Saatchi because it will bring in the creative strength of Charles Victor, National Creative Director of Law & Kenneth along with his team and a focused business strategy with the help of key members of Law & Kenneth like Anil Nair and Anil K Nair.
There will be stability at both the agencies with fewer exits. It will also help in teaming up with global experts who bring their vision and management. In today’s challenging economy when agencies are cash-strapped and it is getting harder and harder to obtain lines of credit, this deal will help both agencies in increasing revenues and reducing overheads. Since, Saatchi & Saatchi is a part of the Publicis-Omnicom family, Law & Kenneth will get an opportunity of attracting more capital and be first in line for rounds of financing. Saatchi & Saatchi is a global advertising agency network hence the merger will provide a better platform to Law & Kenneth’s ideas. It will help in increasing market share and expand into new geographies and sectors.