Japanese ad major Dentsu acquires Mumbai-based Fountainhead

19 Oct, 2015

Japanese advertising major Dentsu Inc's Indian unit Dentsu Aegis Network Ltd has acquired Mumbai-based events and experiential agency Fountainhead Entertainment Pvt Ltd for an undisclosed amount.

Post acquisition, Fountainhead will continue to be led by co-founder and CEO Brian Tellis and the current management team will remain the same.

"Fountainhead's strong expertise and presence within the fastest growing sector of India's advertising industry adds scale and leadership to Dentsu Aegis Network's growing presence within this vibrant market," the company said in a press statement.

Fountainhead was founded in 1994 by Tellis, Neale Murray and Otis D'Souza and was later joined by co-directors Pradeep Guha, VG Jairam and Owen Roncon. The company employs over 200 people across five brands such as Fountainhead Events, Oranjuice Entertainment, Fountainhead Activations, Fountainhead Corporate Journeys and Fountainhead Digital. The firm, with offices in Delhi and Bangalore as well, claims to be delivering more than 350 events annually.

Post acquisition, Tellis will report into Ashish Bhasin, chairman and CEO of Dentsu Aegis Network South Asia. The company said it will merge its existing experiential offering psLIVE, which employs 86 people in India, with Fountainhead in 2016.

"Fountainhead's reputation in the event and activation market, and its extensive experience in both music and sports marketing, complements and strengthens our experiential offering in one of the region's most exciting markets. This move represents a further step in our continued investment programme in the Indian market," said Nick Waters, CEO of Dentsu Aegis Network Asia Pacific.

Fountainhead will retain its identity and branding while working alongside the other specialist brands of Dentsu including Carat, iProspect, Isobar, Posterscope, Vizeum, Amnet and  Dentsu media as well as Dentsu branded agencies (Dentsu Creative Impact, Dentsu Marcom, Dentsu Communications, Taproot Dentsu, Dentsu Webchutney), WATConsult and Milestone Brandcom.

In January this year, Dentsu signed an agreement to buy 90 per cent stake in WAT Media Pvt Ltd which operates a full-service digital agency in the country under the brand WATConsult.

London-headquartered Dentsu Aegis Network provides branding, media and marketing services. It offers digital creative execution, content creation, media planning, sports and entertainment marketing, search engine optimisation (SEO) strategy, near field communications (NFC) and marketing analytics.

A wholly owned subsidiary of Dentsu Inc, Dentsu India Group comprises three standalone full-service advertising agencies – Dentsu Communications, Dentsu Marcom and Dentsu Creative Impact – as well as Dentsu Media and Dentsu Digital.

Tokyo-based Dentsu Inc has a presence in 24 countries across five continents.

In 2012, it acquired 51 per cent stake in Mumbai-based advertising agency Taproot India Communication Pvt Ltd for an undisclosed sum.