Lintas Media Group, an IPG company, has clarified that it is not a part of the 'merger' of Lodestar and Universal McCann, which took place last week. Media conglomerate IPG had decided last week to 'merge' the media units of FCB-Ulka and McCann Erickson – Lodestar and Universal McCann, respectively – to create Lodestar Universal.
Lintas Media Group (LMG) has issued an official communiqué, which stated, "In the recent past, there have been reports regarding a proposed tie-up between Lodestar, the media division of FCB-Ulka, and Universal McCann, both part of the Interpublic Group of Companies. LMG, also an IPG company, will not currently be a part of this association, which is restricted to India only and has no global implications or exact parallels."
The organisation has issued an official communiqué, which stated, “In the recent past, there have been reports regarding a proposed tie-up between Lodestar, the media division of FCB-Ulka, and Universal McCann, both part of the Interpublic Group of Companies. LMG, also an IPG company, will not currently be a part of this association, which is restricted to India only and has no global implications or exact parallels.”
Lynn de Souza, Director, Media Services, Lintas India, said, “Both Lodestar and Universal are very good agencies. We are very pleased with this development, which will provide a good pilot for larger collaborations in the future. Universal had lost nearly 80 per cent of its business. This union with Lodestar will give it a much needed shot in the arm.”
Speaking on the issue of media billings and size, de Souza referred to the recently released RECMA findings for India, which are to be made public by the research organisation very soon.
“I am not at liberty to quote freely from there, as per the subscription contract. However, I can say that on their considerable research, LMG, occupies the third position in capitalised billings, (after GroupM and Madison), which is 20 per cent more than the combined billings of Lodestar and Universal in 2006, the latter two being at No. 5 and No. 13, respectively. With the tie-up, Lodestar Universal will continue to occupy the No. 5 position. However, I am sure with sufficient focus, they can drive themselves up to No. 4 or even higher, giving the IPG agencies a better stronghold in the market,” she added.
The communiqué further stated, “Speaking for ourselves, our first quarter wins of Sony Electronics, Tally, Sanyo and other businesses have already begun to bill. We are cruising at a comfortable 40 per cent growth this year and hope to end the year with Rs 1,350 crore in capitalised billing if not more.”
Last week, key LMG planning directors were comprehensively trained on the worldwide Lowe Strategy Planning Tool Kit, in which India was selected as the first market for rollout.
“As one of the few advertising agencies with a strong full service relationship with the countries leading advertising agency Lowe, I see communication strategy continuing to provide a distinct competitive edge as we go forward,” the communiqué added.
IPG joins armies: Lodestar, Universal McCann merge in India, Shashi Sinha elected CEO of merged entity