Wunderman splits into two entities

MUMBAI: At times, two heads are better than one. This is exactly what Wunderman, the direct marketing specialist branch of Rediffusion Y&R, has discovered. The agency has been split into two distinct entities with very different mandates. Rediffusion – Wunderman (formerly known as Wunderman India), headed by Leroy Alvares, will focus on homegrown Indian clientele.

Wunderman International, with Aditya Atri at helm, will work on large scale global clients exclusively. Speaking to ET, Daniel Morel, chairman and CEO of Wunderman, said this arrangement has been operational for close to two years. The agency forbore from making a formal announcement until it was absolutely certain that the two-pronged approach was working for its clients.

According to Mr Morel, “Clients have a really different outlook on the way to do business. And it’s easier, given the scarcity of talent in the Indian market, to have a separate set of people devoted to one way of doing business and another devoted to a different way.”

He argues that large clients, particularly Nokia, Microsoft and Ford, have a global footprint and require people working in tandem around the clock. Whereas for local businesses, agencies tend to rely on teams that are more attuned to cultural nuances and have a quick turn around time.

Besides the mindsets required are very different according to Mr Morel: “It’s hard to find the people who have a head for large international systems and for local creativity.” The employees of Wunderman International for instance are less focused on advertising and more on technology, analytics and web tracking.

The people within Rediffusion -Wunderman neither require nor possess a similar level of analytical skills. However, Mr Morel does admit that a cross pollination of talents; particularly making Rediffusion – Wunderman staffers get a strong grounding on the technological and analytical side of the business is a definite priority.

Both agencies currently have around a 100 people each. India is not the only market where Wunderman has such an operation running. The set up was pioneered in Japan and a similar arrangement exists in China as well.