Mullen Lowe Lintas announces CEO for new creative agency

Virat Tandon to be CEO; Shriram Iyer to be national creative director of Mullen Lintas

New Delhi: Advertising agency Mullen Lowe Lintas Group on Tuesday named Virat Tandon as chief executive officer (CEO) and Shriram Iyer as national creative director of its new creative agency Mullen Lintas, which will be officially launched on 1 August.

The announcement follows the rebranding of the Indian operations of advertising agency Lowe Lintas + Partners, part of the Interpublic group, to Mullen Lowe Lintas Group on 20 July. This exercise led to the birth of a new, independent creative agency, Mullen Lintas. Amer Jaleel was appointed as the agency’s chief creative officer (CCO) while Lowe Lintas continued with Arun Iyer as its CCO.

Joseph George, group CEO, Mullen Lowe Lintas Group, said in a media statement that Mullen Lintas has “big agency" ambitions and that the agency will be presenting itself as a compelling challenger to the likes of Lowe Lintas, Ogilvy & Mather and J. Walter Thompson.

The agency also announced that Mullen Lintas will be headquartered in Mumbai and will have offices in the National Capital Region and Bengaluru.

Commenting on the operations of the new agency, Jaleel said, “We are up to speed with all kinds of media and we don’t distinguish between traditional and new media. We are well versed with brand projection and audience experience. This, along with the wealth of experience we have, forms the basis of us pitching Mullen as a mainstream agency."

Though Mullen’s leadership has been carved out of Lowe Lintas, the new agency is in the process of hiring employees for its new offices.

On the difference between Mullen and Lowe Lintas, Tandon said, “We will try and structure ourselves differently right from the beginning. Our aim will be to take advantage of all the new and big brands in the market. There are a lot of takers of Lintas, this will help us build a strong client base."

In terms of clients, there will be some migration from Lowe Lintas to Mullen to form a base for the new agency to start with. “We are not in a hurry to crowd ourselves. We are in talks with clients and are looking at fresh client portfolios," Iyer added.

Earlier, Tandon was based in Singapore for three years where he served as Mullen Lowe Group’s global business director for the Unilever brands Lifebuoy and Fair & Lovely. He first joined Lowe Lintas’s New Delhi office in 2004 and has since worked with clients including Maruti Suzuki India Ltd, Nestle Ltd, Domino’s, Sony Audio, Dabur, global learning outsourcing company NIIT, multi-business conglomerate ITC Ltd, British pharmaceutical company GSK and American multinational telecommunications corporation AT&T.

Iyer, on the other hand, is currently the executive creative director and creative head of Lowe Lintas’ Delhi office and will shift base to Mumbai for the new responsibility. The new national creative director has been associated with the agency since 1998 and has worked with clients including Google, Micromax, OLX, Hero Motors, Havells and Maruti Suzuki.

Mullen Lowe Lintas Group has operating divisions in advertising (Lowe Lintas, Mullen Lintas), activation (LinEngage), design (dCell), digital (LinTeractive), brand consulting (LinConsult), motion picture (LinProductions), healthcare marketing (LinHealth) and PR (GolinOpinion).