Byravee Iyer
Jul 31, 2014

GroupM inks deal with Facebook in India

INDIA - WPP’s GroupM has struck a major partnership with Facebook in the social network’s first agency deal in India.

Facebook signs first agency deal in India
Facebook signs first agency deal in India

The partnership, three months in the making, was announced during Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg's visit to India. Neither company disclosed financial terms of the deal.

Facebook has ambitious plans for India, which earlier this year reached 100 million active users, making it the company’s second largest market after the US. It is well on its way to becoming the single-largest market by the end of 2014.

"Our partnership with GroupM will benefit clients to reach over 100 million people in India, 84 million on mobile—both smartphone and feature phone— and custom audiences within the 100 million in urban and rural India,” said Krithiga Reddy, head of Facebook India. "We’re excited about this wide-ranging collaboration, which combines the strength of the world’s best global advertising platform with GroupM’s market-leading position to deliver personalized marketing at scale.”

It is clear Facebook is keen to increase revenue opportunities from this booming market. In line with that, Facebook India has launched advertising product innovations. One such was enabling ads on feature phones.

The latest deal includes sharing of data, localising products, joint research capabilities and creating knowledge forums for clients, Tushar Vyas, managing partner of South Asia with GroupM Interaction, told Campaign Asia-Pacific.

The agencies and its clients, including Pepsi, Star TV, Vodafone, Nestle, Flipkart and Dabur  will receive preferred treatment on certain Facebook products, Vyas added.

To grow business in India, Facebook is now available in several local languages. To contend with shaky network issues, the social network also launched an SMS-based version of Facebook that runs on basic feature phones. The firm has also been working with telcos to develop plans and promotions for price-sensitive Indians. In line with that, Bharti Airtel offered three months of free Facebook, and more recently users could access it for free between midnight and 6 am.

For its part, GroupM is hoping the deal will increase digital adoption in India, a market where digital spend is still in the single digits. “India is reaching a tipping point, and our objective is grow the digital pie and drive adoption,” Vyas said. 


Related Articles

Just Published

31 minutes ago

DDB's hard-driving culture delivers wins, but at ...

AGENCY REPORT CARD: A dogged pursuit of pitches pays off in terms of new business, but our concerns about a lack of innovation and the network’s employee churn remain.

36 minutes ago

Let’s call time on the masculinity of beer

It's no wonder many women don't feel beer is a drink for them when much of the sector's most famous advertising—including for AB InBev's brands—has been so geared towards men.

38 minutes ago

Standard Chartered to use Dentsu Curate to drive ...

This win follows a pilot project across 30 markets using a made-in-APAC programmatic solution, which resulted in a more than twofold improvement in both campaign efficiency and video completion rate, according to the agency.

59 minutes ago

Distillery launches Diversity Type Project

The project aims to create a typeface that celebrates diversity and inclusion, and is created in partnership with the Diversity Standards Collective.