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WPP buys Social Wavelength in India and pursues much bigger fish Rediffusion Y&R

WPP is building its big stake in India again with a deal for agency JWT to buy a majority stake in social media agency Social Wavelength. Social Wavelength is based in Mumbai and employs 170 people.

Key clients include Franklin Templeton, Apollo Hospitals, Idea Cellular and GE India Industrial.

WPP now has revenues of about $500m in India, employing about 13,000 people. Which sounds rather a lot of people for that amount of revenue but a rupee goes a long way.

Meanwhile WPP is reported to be closing on a much bigger deal – one that’s been bugging CEO Sir Martin Sorrell for years.

6543315.cmsWPP owns just 26 per cent of Rediffusion Y&R in India and Sorrell has been keen to get his hands on the lot but has been opposed by agency bosses Arun Nanda (left) and Ajit Balakrishnan. This has led to a number of bad-tempered spats between Nanda and Sorrell.

But now WPP seems to be on the brink of buying their 60 per cent stake which would give it 86 per cent of one of the cornerstones of the indian agency scene. Dentsu owns the remainder but would presumably sell to WPP if WPP gained a majority.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.
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