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Publicis acquires India-based Watermelon

Publicis Groupe has agreed to acquire a majority stake in Watermelon Healthcare Communications, a leading healthcare advertising agency in Mumbai, India

Publicis Groupe has agreed to acquire a majority stake in Watermelon Healthcare Communications, a leading healthcare advertising agency in Mumbai, India.

Watermelon will become part of Publicis Healthcare Communications Group (PHCG) and will be renamed Publicis Life Brands (PLB) Watermelon. This transaction is subject to local closing conditions.

Watermelon is a full-service advertising agency that has built its business around traditional and new media since it was established in 2003.

Nearly 40 employees work to deliver strategic planning, digital and branding, creative, medical education, research, public relations, and healthcare professional and consumer communications. Its clients include AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Merck Specialties, MSD Pharmaceuticals, and Novartis.

The company's founders, Abhijit Shitut and Kiran Pai, are to be named joint managing directors at Publicis Life Brands Watermelon. Debasish Mukherjee, co-founder of the agency's digital arm Watermelon Digital Solutions, will spearhead the digital offerings of PLB Watermelon.

Shitut said: "We are excited to be a part of PHCG and believe this will help us change the landscape of healthcare communications in India.” Kiran Pai commented.

Ash Kuchel, president, PHCG Asia Pacific region (APAC) said: "PHCG is delighted to welcome Watermelon to our network. Watermelon is the right fit and has the expertise to further develop our healthcare communications credentials in new media and best-in-class practices in this important and rapidly emerging market. PHCG will continue to expand its global presence throughout the region in the near future."

22nd March 2011

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