Economic Times: March, 2016
New Delhi: India will be the fastest growing advertising market this calendar with total ad spend rising 15%, says Lindsay Pattison, global chief executive at media buying agency Maxus.
"The big growth driver will be ecommerce, followed by telecom, including the rollout of 4G services, the automobiles sector and fast moving consumer goods," Pattison told ET.
Maxus is part of GroupM, the parent company of WPP's media agencies, that takes care of close to one-third of all media investments worldwide. Pattison is in India with her 11-member board to host the $11-billion agency's first meet in the country.
Emerging categories such as ecommerce and other technology startups are advertising heavily across mediums in the country to build brands and they are expected to continue doing the same, said Pattison, the only woman global head of a GroupM agency. The year is expected to see several new launches across the automobiles and consumer goods space, she said.
In a slowing world market, which saw China and Europe reduce ad expenditure, Pattison said Maxus is banking heavily on India's fast-growing ecommerce sector to fuel the group's growth globally.
"Advertising growth is a very good indicator of GDP growth. India is a star market in terms of quality... Individually, companies may trade down but at a sectoral level, there are no concerns," she said.
India, which currently trails only the US advertising market in terms of size, is set to significantly outpace global ad spend growth forecast of 4.5% for this year. The US, India, the UK, Germany and China make up the top five markets for Maxus.
Pattison said India contributes $750 million to its global billings. Maxus, which contributes 25% to GroupM's revenues in India, buys media for firms such as digital wallet and online ecommerce platform Paytm, telecom services provider Vodafone, and personal care products maker L'Oreal.
She said the agency's growth would be mainly through retention and the organic route, rather than acquisitions.
Maxus has rolled out Kaleidoscope, a tool to define parameters such as consumer moods and receptivity, which could play a significant role in the way brands respond to rapidly changing consumer behaviour, especially on the social media.