The Rs 300 crore Zenith Media, the media buying arm of advertising agencies Bates India and Saatchi & Saatchi, and the Rs 100 crore Optimedia, the media buying arm of Publicis, are expected to merge in India by the first quarter of 2002.
The merger will take place on the lines of the international merger that took place in October end this year between Publicis Groupe SA and Cordiant Communications Group (CCG) PLC.
The two combined their media buying operations into one company, the $20-billion Zenith Optimedia Group. The company is owned 75 per cent by Publicis Groupe and 25 per cent by CCG plc.
The merger would also bring along some benefits for clients, such as an ability to develop better software tools and systems and agreater ability to invest in an expanding range of service lines Under the new combined structure in India, the two arms would either merge into a single entity or continue to operate as separate entities, with a common backend support solution.
In July 2001, Media Vest, the media wing of the Ambience D'Arcy side of the business, and Starcom, Leo Burnett's side of the business, merged. With the current growth rate of 65 per cent, Zenith Media expects to become a Rs 500 crore media buying agency by the end of 2002.