Key Account Movements Redefine Indian Ad Industry

The Indian advertising industry has had quite a transformative journey with large brands changing hands in the media, creative, digital and integrated space

With the onset of the new year, the advertising industry is all set to switch gears, taking into account the happenings that took place in 2023. With a charged 2024, we take a look back at the significant account movements that shook the industry, thus giving a bird’s-eye view of what the industry could look forward to in 2024.

WPP’s big catches

WPP’s Wavemaker (GroupM) made a sweep by procuring the media duties of Reckitt from dentsu X, the account size of which was pegged at a whopping Rs 1,600 crore. Commenting on the association, Dilen Gandhi, Regional Marketing Director, South Asia – Health & Nutrition, Reckitt, mentioned in a press note, “At Reckitt, we are always looking out to strategically align ourselves to the ever-changing consumer needs and improve our connect with them. As a result of a global decision, we are glad to welcome Wavemaker on-board and are confident of their domain knowledge and media buying clout. Their experience will help us enhance saliency across our brands and drive media efficiencies.”

GroupM’s Mindshare also bagged the mammoth Maruti Suzuki media account worth Rs 1,200 crore from dentsu India. In a conversation with a media company at the time of the pitch, Shashank Srivastava, Senior Executive Director - Marketing and Sales, Maruti Suzuki India had specified that this move would not only add to the creative freshness to the brand but would also help to focus on advertising other aspects of the company’s business. “We have realised that two agencies may not be sufficient to manage the current vastness of our business,” he had said at that time.

On the creative side, WPP’s Wunderman Thompson won the Skoda India biz, and Ogilvy won the Eveready account. The digital duties of Manyavar were awarded to Mirum India/Wunderman Thompson Commerce. Wunderman Thompson also landed the integrated marketing duties of vivo.

The play of other holding companies

Interpublic Group’s (IPG) media agency, Lodestar UM won the media duties of General Mills and PhonePe. McCann Worldgroup bagged the creative duties of the coveted Air India account, in addition to the IKEA business. Interactive Avenues won the digital duties of Daawat and TTK Healthcare.

Havas’ prominent media wins for the year included retaining the Rs 200 crore media duties of Swiggy, as well as bagging the Puma biz. On the digital front, it secured the mandate of Mamaearth. It is also the custodian of the integrated mandate of realme.

On the media side, Publicis Groupe’s Starcom India secured the More Retail business. The group’s creative agencies – L&K Saatchi & Saatchi and BBH India, won two accounts each; L&K Saatchi & Saatchi’s wins included the Dunkin’ India and JioMart accounts, and BBH India landed the HDFC ERGO General Insurance and upGrad businesses. Starcom bagged the digital account of P&G India. Audi’s creative and digital biz was awarded to L&K Saatchi & Saatchi.

Omnicom Media Group (OMG) has added accounts such as HSBC, Philips Domestic Appliances, Nivea (OMD), Sugar Cosmetics (OMD) and Jaguar Land Rover (Hearts & Science) to its roster. 

Dentsu Group’s dentsu X has secured the media biz of Berger Paints of Rs 200 crore, as well as that of Welspun. Dentsu Creative has grabbed the digital duties of Pernod Ricard India. The integrated account of BharatBenz was handed over to dentsu India.

Cheil India won the creative duties of TVS X and Vishal Mega Mart. Experience Commerce secured the World Cup 2023 media mandate for MRF Tyres on Hotstar.

DDB Mudra won the creative biz for Bajaj Capital. The digital duties for Flipkart landed in 22feet Tribal Worldwide’s lap.

Independent agencies have their share of wins

This year proved to be a fairly good year for a lot of independent agencies too. The Rs 100 core media account of Jio-bp was secured by Vibrant Media. Without missing out a chance, creative agencies such as Wieden + Kennedy India (G-Shock and Jio), Tilt Brand Solutions (Myntra and Kohler) and Atom Network (DS Group’s dairy biz) cornered their share of the creative pie. On the digital front, amongst the many agencies, Sociowash bagged the Viacom18, BMW Motorrad India and CenturyPly businesses; Social Beat won Tata CLiQ and Mankind Pharma; Tonic Worldwide landed L’Oreal; Team Pumpkin secured Shalimar Paints and Casio Electronic Musical Instruments India. In integrated, Famous Innovations got the adidas biz, mSix&Partners bagged Hamdard Laboratories and Makani Creatives landed the Paragon account. Siyaram's digital account was awarded to Grapes. Social Panga had a twin win with the creative duties of Yatra and the integrated business of Tata AIG. The digital mandate of Tim Hortons was handed to Gozoop Group.

Holding CompaniesAccount typeBrandsAgency



ReckittWavemaker (GroupM)

Maruti SuzukiMindshare India (GroupM)

Pernod Ricard IndiaWavemaker India 

KRBL Wavemaker India


Skoda IndiaWunderman Thompson

EvereadyOgilvy India

Kajaria82.5 Communications


ManyavarMirum India/Wunderman Thompson Commerce 


vivo India Wunderman Thompson India

Pro Kabaddi League Wunderman Thompson 

NPCI (National Payments Corporation of India)Wunderman Thompson 
Interpublic Group (IPG)


PhonePeLodestar UM

General MillsLodestar UM


IKEA  McCann

Eureka ForbesLowe Lintas 

Air IndiaMcCann Worldgroup

LifestyleLowe Lintas 

Okaya BatteriesMullen Lintas

HindwareMullen Lintas

Shopper’s StopFCB Ulka


VimInteractive Avenues

TTK HealthcareInteractive Avenues
Publicis Groupe


More RetailStarcom India 


Dunkin’ India L&K Saatchi and Saatchi 

JioMartL&K Saatchi and Saatchi 

HDFC ERGO General InsuranceBBH India 

upGradBBH India 


P&G IndiaStarcom

AudiL&K Saatchi & Saatchi

Jio-bpSaatchi & Saatchi Propagate


PumaHavas Media Group India 

SwiggyHavas Media Group India 

inDriveHavas Media Network India

V-Guard IndustriesHavas Media Group India 


MamaearthHavas Worldwide India


realmeHavas Media
Omnicom Group



Jaguar Land RoverHearts & Science - Omnicom Media Group

Philips Domestic AppliancesOMG Media Group

Sugar CosmeticsOMD

HSBCOmnicom Media Group
Dentsu Group


Berger Paintsdentsu X

Welspundentsu X


Pernod Ricard IndiaDentsu Creative


BharatBenzdentsu India 

In all, it has been an eventful year for the advertising industry with major account movements in the media, creative, digital and integrated space. We look forward to the new year in anticipation, about what it would unfold.