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MullenLowe Lintas Group folds third agency PointNine Lintas into flagship Lowe Lintas

Amer Jaleel and Virant Tandon of MullenLowe Lintas Group

The MullenLowe Lintas Group has announced the merger of PointNineLintas and its flagship creative agency Lowe Lintas.

In a statement, MullenLowe Lintas Group said: “The merger combines the omni-channel expertise of PointNine Lintas with the creative strength of Lowe Lintas, to form one of the largest hyper-bundled full-service agencies of India, filling a need gap in the industry.”

PointNine Lintas began operations in 2017 with the stated goal of being an omni-channel creative agency.

To this end, existing marketing services of the MullenLowe Lintas Group were folded into PointNine. These included GolinOpinion (PR), LinTeractive (digital marketing and transformation), and LinEngage (activation, experiential and shopper marketing). A

few months after launch, PointNine added media division Lintas Mediahub. The name of the agency was a riff on 0.9, to reflect the fact that the agency was always going to be in ‘beta’ mode.

However, the launch of PointNine Lintas left many in the Indian advertising and marketing industry puzzled. By the time PointNine was launched, consolidation and not creating additional agency brands was the overarching business strategy in advertising.

Publicis had already initiated its integrated structure and Dentsu Aegis Network was boasting of a unified P&L. Considering Lowe Lintas had in 2015 already split into two agencies Mullen Lintas and Lowe Lintas, creating a third brand was considered a baffling choice. 

Early last year, several industry observers privately voiced the belief that PointNine would either cease to exist or be merged. As one industry observer, the CEO of a rival ad firm said: “The structure just doesn’t make any sense.” 

To hear the principals at the MullenLowe Lintas Group speak of it though, the merger appears to be the conclusion of a successful experiment.

MullenLowe Lintas Group CEO Virat Tandon said: “With PointNine Lintas, we’ve grown a new, future-facing strain and now it’s time to graft it into Lowe Lintas, which is already India’s best.

“Our promise to clients is that in the increasingly fragmented and fast-evolving communications landscape, we will now be able to seamlessly extract more power from big ideas. Lowe Lintas’ new hyper-bundled offering means our clients no longer have to settle for the fractured solutions of the past.”

Mullen Lowe Lintas group CCO and chairman Amer Jaleel added: “We are looking at a future where a lot of very carefully designed and yet differing messages will aggregate to form a stereographic brand picture in the head.

“Our omni-channel incubation PointNine Lintas is now fully ready and positioned to understand these complex brand needs and it’s time to unleash it across the breadth of our vast brand portfolio”.

A comment from PointNine Lintas’ CEO Vikas Mehta was absent in the press release announcing the merger. Mumbrella is trying to ascertain the role he will play in the new structure.

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