WPP-owned media agency GroupM said on Monday that it has agreed to buy a majority stake in the independent digital creative agency The Glitch, which will retain its branding. The acquisition will strengthen GroupM’s growth plans by offering its clients access to a wide portfolio of digital marketing services and content solutions.
GroupM did not reveal the deal size. Advertising industry executives estimate it in Rs100-150 crore range.
The Glitch employs 240 people working out of offices in Delhi and Mumbai offering digital, planning and content services. It handles over 30 clients across brand categories with some of its key clients such as video streaming platform Netflix, fast moving consumer goods firm Hindustan Unilever, dating app Tinder and online hospitality firm Oyo Rooms.
“The communications ecosystem in India has evolved dramatically in the last few years and GroupM continues to lead the market in creating cutting-edge solutions that leverage data, technology and creativity. With The Glitch, we found a partner that brings exciting creative and content skills that can leverage our unique assets to create effective solutions for our clients,” said C.V.L. Srinivas, country manager for WPP India and chief executive GroupM South Asia.
The Glitch’s co-founder and creative chief Rohit Raj and co-founder and content chief Varun Duggirala will join the GroupM leadership team.
“We have found the perfect partner in GroupM who compliments our skills and shares a similar vision on the future of advertising. We will be able to use their strong expertise in data and analytics to help craft more insightful and effective campaigns for brands and help close the loop with a superior understanding of content and creative strategy to serve today’s economy,” said Raj.
“With our right brain core of creative strategy and content and GroupM’s vast left brain core of media, data and analytics paired with their increasing content focus we truly believe we’re completing the right mix to fuel overall exponential growth and deliver the most value to our clients,” added Duggirala.
GroupM operates WPP’s media agencies including Mindshare, MEC, MediaCom, Wavemaker, Essence and Motivator in India. Its primary purpose is to maximize the performance of WPP’s media agencies by operating as leader and collaborator in trading, content creation, sports, digital, finance, and proprietary tool development. It handles blue chip clients such as consumer goods firm ITC Ltd, telecom firm Vodafone, retail chain Shoppers Stop, auto giant Tata Motors, e-commerce platform Myntra, liquor company Pernod Ricard and Hero MotoCorp Ltd.
In January last year, GroupM acquired a majority stake in the media agency MediaCom India, a joint venture between GroupM India and Sam Balsara, the principal shareholder of the Madison Media group. MediaCom India continues to operate as an independent brand.