Mumbai: Lowe Worldwide has promoted long-time Lintas India executive Lynn de Souza to chairman and CEO of Lintas Media Group (LMG), the country’s third largest media company with billings of about Rs1,700 crore.
Top of the ladder: Lintas Media Group CEO Lynn de Souza.
Lynn de Souza will report to the CEO of Lowe Worldwide Stephen Gatfield, who’s also chairman of Lintas India Pvt. Ltd, the holding company of agency Lowe India and LMG. Lowe India’s chairman is R. ‘Balki’ Balakrishnan, and Charles Cadell is its CEO. LMG is the exclusive media partner of advertisers such as ITC group, Sony Electronics, Bajaj Auto Ltd, Idea Cellular Ltd, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd and Tata Mutual Fund.
De Souza, a media specialist, expects to work more closely and collaboratively with Lintas agency Lowe India, IPG media agency Lodestar Universal as well as with other creative agencies and media owners.
De Souza also doesn’t rule out media buying functions of LMG and Lodestar uniting one day even as the two brands remain separate. Lodestar is 65-70% of LMG’s billings, says de Souza. A combined effort potentially promises strategic and buying synergies for clients as well as negotiating clout, though de Souza insists that LMG is not a “push and shove” agency. Rival holding company WPP Group Plc. has consolidated media specialist brand GroupM India Pvt. Ltd, which commands some 40% of media spends in India according to industry estimates.
De Souza’s most recent position was director-media services for Lintas India, in charge of seven specialized media divisions that were recently folded into LMG. In its place are 12 client specific “collectives” (teams) for big advertisers such as ITC (their single largest advertiser), Maruti, Sony and Idea Cellular. Along with this, there are five functional collaborative efforts:
Tools and technology: LMG will collaborate with Lodestar Universal and Initiative Worldwide in this area. For example, a media management tool developed by Universal China, which offers everything from scheduling, estimation to post-evaluation. “After we get the software, we will give it to Lodestar Universal.” says de Souza.
Digital: collaboration with digital ad firm Pinstorm where clients pay by performance. They do the creative and media work for brands for digital platforms, and this partnership may be extended to Lowe in the future.
Data analytics: focuses on the analytics of buying data. This is to help buyers decide where buying inventory is going. This collaboration is for IPG media agencies Lodestar Universal and LMG, says de Souza.
Consumers and categories: this collaboration involves insights related to consumers and categories available for client clusters to use. For example, the Maruti and Bajaj clusters both know a lot about transportation.
Communication channel planning: LMG will work with Lowe’s planners towards the creation of rich, media neutral ideas. “We will use the best of their (Lowe) brand insights with our media insights and put the two together. Generally what happens is that a creative agency looks at things from the view of brand promise, and media agencies look at things from the view of a consumer and the two don’t meet. This collaborative is an important contact point for Lowe and us,” says de Souza.