Curtains will come down on one of the country’s oldest advertising agencies, Rediffusion, following its acquisition by adman Sandeep Goyal’s Mogae Media.
Rediffusion partners Arun Nanda and Ajit Balakrishnan, who held 50 per cent each, have decided to step back from day-to-day operations of the agency.
Nanda, who founded Rediffusion along with Balakrishnan and Mohammed Khan in 1973, will remain chairman of Rediffusion. Goyal will take over as MD.
Rediffusion will be part of the Mogae Media group, people in the know told Business Standard.
Goyal was not available for comment when contacted. He was president of Rediffusion between 1997 and 2001. A formal announcement of the acquisition is likely on Monday.
The end of the road for Rediffusion comes nearly three years after Nanda and Balakrishnan acquired the combined 40 per cent stake of WPP agency Y&R (26.67 per cent) and Dentsu (13.33 per cent) in the agency. Before the transaction, the agency was branded as Rediffusion-Y&R.
The deal had also seen WPP exit joint ventures it had in other areas with Rediffusion, including direct marketing and health care advertising, respectively.
Nanda had then told Business Standard that the divorce with WPP, a long-time partner, would allow it to focus on areas such as digital and usher in a new chapter in its over four-decade-long journey. However, Rediffusion's exit now from the Indian advertising scene will mean that there will be one legacy brand less within the sector.
Some of Rediffusion's iconic campaigns include 'Give me red' for Eveready, 'The Zing Thing' for Gold Spot and 'Is it bad to look good' for Lakme. The agency also launched the brand Airtel in 1995.
Rediffusion works with Tata Sons, Parle, Tata Trusts, Tata Motors, State Bank of India, Liebherr, Larsen & Toubro, Brookfield, Orra and Dr. Reddy's Laboratories, among others. These clients will now be part of Mogae Media’s roster.