Interpublic’s Mediabrands inks JV with India’s Interactive Avenues

MUMBAI: Mediabrands, the media holding company within Interpublic Group, has set up a majority-owned joint venture with India-based digital marketing solutions company Interactive Avenues.

In India, the joint venture will assume the name of Reprise Media. Through this transaction the new business unit will specialize in search and social marketing and also offer a full scope of digital services, which include digital media strategy and investment, digital creative development, campaign implementation and post activity analysis.

Anjali Hegde, one of Interactive Avenue’s founding partners becomes CEO, Reprise Media, India and will report to the new Reprise Media, India Board as well as Mediabrands Asia Pacific Regional Leadership.

Mediabrands will hold a 51% stake in the joint venture and Interactive Avenues will hold the remaining 49%. The partnership formalizes the long-time successful working relationship between Interactive Avenues and Mediabrands.

Interactive Avenues has operations in Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore and will continue to operate as an independent digital marketing solutions company and will provide complete support to this joint venture. The transaction bolsters Mediabrands’ digital offering and services for clients and reinforces the media holding company’s efforts to expand and deepen its marketing services operations across India and Asia Pacific. Final details of the transaction will be presented to the IPG Board next month.

In Asia Pacific alone, Reprise Media is established in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand, and Australia. In 2009 Ensemble and Orion Trading launched divisions in Australia.

"Interactive Avenues welcomes this opportunity to partner with IPG’s Mediabrands on the Reprise Media venture in India. Through Interactive Avenue’s leadership in digital marketing and Mediabrands’ leading global agency network, the possibilities for Reprise Media India have no bounds. Our clients will be able to access the best of both worlds as well as the opportunities presented by accelerated growth in India’s digital marketing space," said Hegde.

"Mediabrands is committed to aggressive business development across our key markets in Asia Pacific and of course, India is critical in that respect. We have enjoyed a very successful partnership with Interactive Avenues for the last two years and this new venture allows us to formalize the relationship and to reinforce our collective commitment to growing our digital business together in one of the most vibrant global markets today. Interactive Avenues has an impressive track record, a strong management team as well as a market leading product and we are extremely pleased with the continued evolution of this relationship," said Mediabrands COO and CFO Tara Comonte.

"With an online community of approximately 81 million, India represents one of the world’s largest Internet markets. But behind this impressive number, India still remains a multi-faceted and highly complex digital landscape. With Reprise Media India, we have the digital marketing experts that can navigate the digital space effectively and offer our clients unrivalled value for their campaigns, especially as this space reaches critical mass in the coming years," added Lodestar UM (Universal McCann) CEO Shashi Sinha.

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