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LG moves media business to Havas Media

The incumbent agency was MEC. The account is being serviced by Havas Media’s second agency, Arena

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Delhi | August 6, 2013

For reasons best known to the client and its new media agency, the news has been meticulously kept under wraps for the past couple of months – but it is becoming the worst kept secret in town. The plum media business of LG India has moved to Havas Media Group. It was earlier handled by MEC India. On paper, the account will be handled by Arena, the second agency of Havas Media Group.

When contacted sometime back, spokespersons of MEC, GroupM and MEC denied any knowledge saying there was a global pitch on the account and that they had no clue. The LG spokesperson too denied the development. And Havas Media is yet to breathe a word on their prestigious win.

However, what is now known is that the Team LG group in MEC has been dismantled over the last couple of months. And simultaneously, Havas Media has set up a dedicated team for the LG business on the 2nd floor of its office in DLF Cyber City in Gurgaon. The team is still been built, according to informed sources in the media industry.

The fact is that there was a global media review for the LG account, following which the Seoul-headquartered LG decided to keep Mindshare as it agency in North America but decided to move the bulk of its international account to Havas Media, according to informed sources.  For the record, the global media account was with Mindshare, a GroupM company, for five years.

While the current media budget of LG is not known, it had reached Rs 300 crore around two-three years ago. The market feedback is that the media budget was scaled down to around Rs 100 crore last year in line with a cutback in LG’s global marketing spends.

One reason for the veil of secrecy or the absence of an announcement could be the fact that Havas Media handles a prominent competing brand, Voltas. In fact, Voltas has overtaken LG in the air-conditioner business over the last six months and is now the top-selling AC brand in the country. When contacted, a Voltas senior executive commented, “We don't have any official communication on this. Our agreement is with MPG India, having a clearly defined clause of not handling any competing brand within the category.”

And MPG is Havas Media today. It may be recalled that in January this year, Havas announced its rebranding and integration strategy to underscore its simple and agile structure. The newly created Havas Media Group includes all of Havas’ media agencies, consisting of Havas Media (operating in 126 markets), within which its media brand MPG and its digital brand Media Contacts will be fully incorporated and rebranded, and Arena Media (operating in 13 markets). The Havas Media brand was relaunched on January 24, 2013 with a new identity to reflect the tighter, more integrated organisational structure.

The rebranding is supported by a new simplified structure that places its digital expertise and content marketing at the core of its operations. This move brings the media side of the business in line with the structure of Havas’ creative division, Havas Creative Group (composed of the Havas Worldwide global network and Arnold Worldwide micro-network).

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