BBDO, one of the strongest creative brands globally from the Omnicom house, has finally realised that it has more than catching-up to do in India on the count of its strength and presence here, in comparison to what it commands in some of the international markets. With the launch of BBDO India, the network believes that the scales are set to change in BBDO’s favour in this market. Chris Thomas, Chairman and CEO, BBDO Asia, said, “We already have a very substantial presence in India, and we would build on that.”
BBDO India, like some of the other BBDO models as seen in markets like the Philippines, would see three shareholders – BBDO Asia, RK Swamy and Josy Paul. Even as this still means that Paul would report to Thomas, the move would allow Paul to be a part of critical decisions of the agency and its way forward in India.
A key aspect that seems to emerge from the launch of BBDO India is that BBDO would focus further on its combined advertising product in India with this move. BBDO wants the two agencies – RK Swamy BBDO and BBDO India – to ‘co-operate’. When quested further, Thomas said, “There are several possible areas and it will be down to the needs of the individual clients. RK Swamy has tremendous depth of resource in areas such as research, events, digital, media, CRM (customer relationship management) and social rural marketing. Any of these could be areas of co-operation.”
However, the advertising function would clearly see the two entities compete. A popular speculation has been that international BBDO clients might align with BBDO India in India. Thomas clarified, “There is no intention of changing any relationships for the sake of it. We expect both entities to work on both local and multinational clients.”
BBDO officials have stated that the two agencies in India were in place to be able to present a wider range of offering to clients in India. Explaining further, Thomas said, “It would certainly be a more comprehensive offer - but we have not set any specific market share targets. Our focus is on making sure that all of our offices are the best that they can be. Our experience is that growth follows when you focus on quality.”
The agency has Paul as its head, but Thomas is clear that BBDO was looking to bring in additional talent. He said, “There is no individual identified yet, but we will bring in people with strong management experience to work with Josy and the wider team.”
BBDO has marked various plans to strengthen its presence in India. “We will continue to do what we do all over the world – seek to find and develop the best talent in the market, produce work that transforms our client’s businesses, and use the full range of commercial content that is available to achieve that end,” said Thomas.