French advertising and communications giant Publicis Groupe, which is merging with Omnicom, has acquired 51 per cent stake in Delhi-based advertising and digital agency Law & Kenneth for an undisclosed amount, as per a company statement. 

Post-acquisition, Law & Kenneth will be merged with Saatchi & Saatchi, a creative service unit of Publicis Groupe and will be renamed as L&K Saatchi & Saatchi (Law & Kenneth website already carries the logo of merged entity). This will strongly reinforce the agency’s presence in India between its offices in Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Kolkata. 

Law & Kenneth specialises in traditional and digital advertising, branding and marketing. The firm was founded in 2004 by Praveen Kenneth and Andy Law, along with investor and co-founder Anita Roddick. Its clientele includes local and global firms like Renault, Dabur, TATA AIG Insurance, Godrej, ITC, Reliance, Idea and Hero MotoCorp.

"Praveen has built an impressive network throughout the country, one that will provide a heightened added value and a mutually beneficial relationship for both existing and future clients. We are glad to be welcoming him back into the Publicis Groupe family," said Maurice Lévy, chairman and CEO of Publicis Groupe. 

Kenneth, who was the CEO of Publicis India from 1999-2003, said, “The combination of Law & Kenneth’s stability, size, proven success and experience in India’s dynamic market place, together with Saatchi & Saatchi’s iconic status and mystique, result in a creative powerhouse that is L&K Saatchi & Saatchi." 

He will join the Saatchi & Saatchi Asia-Pacific board and will report directly into Chris Foster, chairman and CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi Asia-Pacific. The senior management team of Law & Kenneth will continue in their respective roles in the new entity.

Publicis Groupe’s services include digital media (DigitasLBi, Razorfish, Rosetta, VivaKi), creative services (BBH, Leo Burnett, Publicis Worldwide, Saatchi & Saatchi), public affairs, corporate communications & events (MSL GROUP), media strategy, planning and buying (Starcom MediaVest Group and ZenithOptimedia) and healthcare communications (Publicis Healthcare Communications Group). The group is present in 108 countries and employs 60,000 professionals.

Publicis has been actively expanding in India through the inorganic route and this marks the eighth acquisition in the country since 2012. It had previously bought Indigo Consulting, Resultrix, MarketGate, iStrat, Convonix, Neev and Beehive Communications.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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