And now, PointNine Lintas

05 Jul,2017


The MullenLowe Lintas Group has  announced the launch of its new independent full-service agency in India, PointNine Lintas. It would offer omni-channel marketing capabilities including creative (on and offline), PR, activation, experiential, social, media and digital transformation; all under one roof. The agency will commence operations on August 1, 2017.


The existing marketing services of the Group will be aggregated under this new agency and will operate as its divisions. These includeGolinOpinion – PR, reputation management; LinTeractive – digital marketing and transformation and LinEngage – activation, experiential & shopper. These divisions will come together to offer full-service horizontal offerings to clients of PointNine Lintas, while continuing toretain their vertical offerings for existing clients. The new agency has a roadmap to further expand its capabilities by adding new offerings to its service stack, including creative, media, technology and platforms.


PointNine is a model developing and landing in India: Vikas Mehta


Vikas Mehta


A quick chat with the founding CEO of the MullenLoweLintas group’s all-new agency. Mehta has been Group CMO and President, Marketing Services for the MullenLoweLintas Group,



All of the constituents set to become part of PointNine have existed for some years now. Why the desire to now merge them under one head?

We are not disrupting the existing divisions. There is a market for special skillsets, and that will continue to be. While we will now have a unified team, we are not disbanding the existing teams. We are dropping the silos so they can work in a cross-functional way.


So how will the existing teams work.. where does it leave individual team leaders like Ameer Ismail who was just recently elevated?

The operating models of existing teams will continue. There will be an additional layer of a PointNineLintas team which will work in a horizontal way, so that it can leverage individual talent.


Will full-service include media?

The roadmap is to offer the entire spectrum of services and to expand. In media, we already have digital media buying and planning. And, as I said, the rest of the roadmap is to expand.


There’s a mention made that PointNine will also look at creative work – online and offline. Is this meant only to handle competitive brands in the group, or do we see PointNine also growing to be a worthy competitor to the ‘mother’ agency?

So in the unified team under PointNine, we already have 35-40 creatives. Yes, the three agency brands will be independent and going forward could compete.


So a creative head – CCO or NCD?

Yes, on Day 0 we already have people in creative. And we will have a creative head soon.


Why the name PointNine? Does the name PointNineLintas point to the agency being very close to the real thing and not exactly that? Or is it nine functions coming together.

No, no. It is to signify the beta version and is more of a reflection of the founding principles of the agency. It’s beta by choice and is a reflection of the prevailing marketing principles.


But the beta life also means that not everything is 100 per cent perfect?

Yeah, and that’s the world we live in.The best practives are evolving much faster than companies can. Our offerings, our engagement practices will allow us to evolve ahead of the market


All of this sounds good, but it will require teams to unlearn they worked and learn all-new capabilities?

Absolutely. And this is what we’ve been working over the last few months…. Arming our people with cross-functional expertise so that they can tap the best of talent across


The MullenLowe group is going through the process hyperbundlingelsewhere? IsPointNinepart of a larger global plan or will exist only in India for now?

This is a model developing and landing in India. It has been endorsed by the network and global bosses. As it is today, it’s for India. But it could well elsewhere.


You’ve have been part of MullenLoweLintas group’s rise over the years as well as various wins in effectiveness and strategy awards. Will that continue, now that you have an independent P&L responsibility?

At this point, my group role continues. We are in discussions on the future of it.


Any targets for the agency that you can share?

Given that we are some 20 days from launch, let me tell you what according to us will be the definition of our success. We wish put our work out of there which gives the value of seamlessness and its impact on business to clients. I am quite hopeful that’s how integration can be done going forward as against the 360-degree wagon wheel that currently exists.



Announcing the new agency, Joseph George, Group Chairman and CEO, MullenLowe Lintas Group said: “We made our intentions to go full-service clear four years ago. While the list of companies and industries pursuing full-service (under different labels) has grown tremendously in this time, the approach to it remains more or less the same. PointNine Lintas is a fresh take at an agency model that’s multi-faceted at its core. So far, only holding companies have seen some success with this approach, but it’s restricted to a handful of very large global clients. An agency network doing this would be a first, and we believe it could broaden the base of clients who can tap into it.”


Along with Lowe Lintas and Mullen Lintas, PointNine Lintas would be the third independent agency of the MullenLowe Lintas Group in India. Vikas Mehta, currently Group CMO and President, Marketing Services for MullenLowe Lintas Group, has been named CEO ofPointNine Lintas.


Speaking of the appointment, George said: “I have worked closely with Vikas the past four years and I am absolutely certain that he is most qualified to deliver on this ambition. Not just because of his subject matter competencies required for a multi-service agency, but also for his passionate, stubborn and informed belief in ‘full service’ being the only way to go!”


Said said in a statment, “We have gone from the age of communication to the age of experiences. While the market has evolved at a furious pace, the agency models haven’t. The opportunity to take the Lintas pedigree and build an agency for the experiential economy is an inspiring one. Hyper-bundling is our biggest priority as a network and I’m grateful for the challenge to build a new agency that’s hyper-bundled from day zero”.


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