M&C Saatchi was started by Lord Maurice Saatchi in 1995, after a fallout with the management at the famed Saatchi & Saatchi. While Scarecrow and M&C Saatchi confirmed the news to The Economic Times, both, however, refused to disclose details of the value and structure of the deal despite repeated requests. The entity will be called Scarecrow M&C Saatchi.
The agency was co-founded in 2010 by Raghu Bhat, Manish Bhatt and Arunava Sengupta, who, among them, have worked with some of the largest agency brands — Ogilvy, McCann and Dentsu — in the past. Vivek Suchanti, communications veteran and founder of Concept Group, was an early investor. Suchanti also has significant interests in other independent shops such as Enormous and ITSA. He, too, refused to comment on the Scarecrow deal.
Historically, M&C Saatchi has had a chequered footprint in India where their previous alignments met with limited success. In 2014, the company acquired February India, an independent advertising agency based in Delhi, for an undisclosed sum through a 10-year structured deal, as reported by ET. In addition, M&C Saatchi Mobile launched its operations in Delhi and Bengaluru in 2016.
The network, led by global CEO Moray MacLennan, comprises 27 agencies in the Americas, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Australasia and 8 specialist companies. This is M&C Saatchi’s full-fledged attempt to get a stronger foothold in one of the most competitive ad markets in the world, India. In an exclusive conversation with ET, MacLennan said that as a rule the network never rushes into acquisitions. Courtships are less Tinder, more Victorian England. “The Indian market is a critical market for any global advertising network.
This is not our first investment here. But we were determined to have a stronger presence in India and that is how we found Scarecrow from a shortlist of 3-4 agencies,” said MacLennan. Scarecrow’s clients include Nestle, Quikr, ITC, Emami, Haier, Religare, Rasna, Wagh Bakri, Rupa, DBS, Danone and Spykar. Scarecrow and M&C Saatchi have been “in talks” for three years now.
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