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Can this agency model crack India? Inside the new Omnicom Advertising Services

By Amit Bapna, APAC editor-at-large

November 14, 2023 | 4 min read

What’s in store for the newly announced Omnicom Advertising Services in India? Chief executive Aditya Kanthy walks The Drum through the plans.

Omnicom's new organizational plans for the India market

Omnicom's new organizational plans for the India market

In a consolidation of sorts, Omnicom in India has announced the formation of Omnicom Advertising Services group. The newly formed entity will be led by the current chief executive of DDB Mudra Group India, Aditya Kanthy.

Kanthy will oversee Omnicom’s creative agencies in the region – the three well-known brands DDB, BBDO and TBWA. Kanthy’s mandate will be to focus on talent, cross-agency collaboration and innovation to drive growth in one of the company’s fastest-growing markets.

While the creative agency brands DDB, BBDO, and TBWA and their leadership teams will remain intact, they will now report to Omnicom Advertising Services in India while staying connected with their respective global agency networks.

The global trend around consolidation

Globally, agencies have been in the throes of consolidation of various kinds – from physical structures to organizational mergers and much in between.

Many major networks have launched unified campuses, a trend that started pre-pandemic, with the idea to bring multiple brands under one roof, thereby achieving a physical consolidation of sorts. Omnicom recently announced the creation of large global capability centers with four campuses out of Bangalore (Bengaluru), Hyderabad, Chennai and Gurgaon (Gurugram).

So how does this structure fit into Omnicom’s consolidation plan for one of the largest and most complex advertising markets? Kanthy tells The Drum: “With this collaborative power, we will be able to offer more coordinated solutions across the full specialist marketing spectrum as Omnicom in India.”

Even though it is not the biggest creative group in India yet, Omnicom is upbeat about India, with strong agency brands and 5000+ people on the ground. The group has stated its aim to triple the workforce in the next two to three years in India, thus creating significant opportunities to serve both local and global clients from India, shares Kanthy.

As per John Wren, global chairman and chief executive of Omnicom: “This year India will become the most populous nation on the planet and it (India) is an important growth engine for Omnicom.”

India-first launch of this creative agency collaborative structure

Interestingly, India is the first market with the Omnicom Advertising Services brand formally launched. Other markets have similar structures, but they are not named in this manner.

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The precedent was set with Omnicom Media Group (OMG), where the various operating brands like OMD, PHD, and Hearts & Science have been brought together under one entity.

The current announcement focuses only on the three creative agency brands being brought under Omnicom Advertising Services. There are many other specialist agencies at the Omnicom Group, including Omnicom Media Group, that are not part of this remit.

Kanthy, currently chief exec of DDB Mudra Group, is an old DDB hand and started his career with Mudra in 2003 as a strategic planner. An ardent debater while in college, and a sharp planner in his advertising years, Kanthy hopes to put both skills to good use as he takes on the new mantle.

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