Interpublic Group or IPG, the world’s fourth largest advertising network after WPP, Omnicom and Publicis, is close to acquiring the largest digital marketing agency in India, called Interactive Avenues(IA).
While the deal size could not be ascertained, it is expected to bolster IPG’s presence in the digital space here. With clients such as ICICI Bank, Sony India and ITC, among others, Interactive is a full-service digital agency, doing online media buying, planning, creative work, search analytics and mobile marketing. It has offices in Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore, with a little over 150 people in these locations.
Apart from IPG, groups such as Publicis and Dentsu were also in the race for IA, persons familiar with the development said. But the New York-headquartered company is expected to seal the deal with IA in the next few days, owing to the familiarity the latter has with IPG. An email to IPG in New York had elicited no response till the time of going to press.
IPG already has a 51:49 joint venture with IA, called Reprise Media. This JV, also in the digital space, is part of the media arm of IPG, called Mediabrands. The current acquisition of IA is also expected to be bunched under Mediabrands, persons in the know said. The latter, like WPP’s GroupM, is the umbrella media entity for IPG, including a combination of mainline media agencies and specialist units.
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