Following the much discussed acquisition of Milestone Brandcom by Dentsu Aegis Network, Nabendu Bhattacharyya, MD of Milestone Brandcom, says the OOH agency will continue to operate independently. When asked if there would be any changes in the way the company operates post the acquisition, Bhattacharya said, “Nothing will change on ground. Our clients will have an additional surface of international learnings and benefiting from latest tools available in the world. They will also be able to avail the group company’s services including digital, creative, full service media, etc.”
Dentsu Aegis Network bought majority stakes in Milestone Brandcom this week. Though the size of the deal was not disclosed, sources say it is close to Rs 100 crores.
Milestone Brandcom recently launched the ‘Milestone Optimizer’, a tool which optimises OOH media plans by tracking 25,000 sites across India and providing Gross Impression Points of an OOH campaign, a first in India. Bhattacharya said the in-house tool will be made available for all DAN clients.
Many OOH agencies greeted news of this acquisition with positivity.
In an industry where fragmentation is the norm, many feel that the entry of large, multi-national players like Dentsu Aegis will bring much needed improvement and global best practices and learnings. Bhattacharyya, himself, said that acquisitions are the way forward to bring consolidation in the Indian OOH industry. He pointed out that the international market currently has just 2-3 big players; something other OOH agencies also feel is important.
In an earlier interview with exchange4media, Bhattacharyya had spoken about digitization of OOH becoming possible only once consolidation happened.
As part of a global network now, perhaps we will see Brandcom experimenting even more with digital OOH and other technologies.
Dentsu Aegis Network, which also includes Posterscope, has now become the largest agency in outdoor and retail OOH. Ashish Bhasin, Chairman & CEO (South Asia) Dentsu Aegis Network said, “We believe that OOH will play an increasingly important role for clients in years to come, so we are delighted to be able to offer clients a market leading service.”
According to the Pitch Madison Media Advertising Outlook 2014, the outdoor advertising segment grew at 6.2 per cent in 2013 and is expected to grow at a rate of 8.2 per cent in 2014.