Scarecrow now a part of M&C Saatchi

10 Apr,2018


By A Correspondent


We were all set to do the trek to Ballard Estate in South Mumbai. As also huff and puff up to the second floor office for a roundtable and a revelation. Except that the lure of an exclusive in a pink major killed the idea of the press meet-up.


L to R: Raghu Bhat, Arunava Sengupta and Manish Bhatt

Guess at the lunch, the rest of the media were to be served the crumbs, while the meat was handed over to the bigger fish. Sigh.


Scarecrow, the eight-plus-year-old independent agency owned by Vivek Suchanti and Manish Bhatt, Raghu Bhat and Arunava Sengupta, has sold majority stake to M&C Saatchi. A global ad network set up by the founders of Saatchi & Saatchi, M&C Saatchi, has had a failed existence in India thus far. It will use the Scarecrow buy as a means to exert its influence in India.


Vivek Suchanti

With this transaction – much below the Rs 100 crore tag that has reported in the paper in honour of which Scarecrow compromised its relations with the rest of the press, M&C Saatchi has bought the majority 51 per cent stake that Suchanti owned. According to the info we have, there will be a gradual buy over five-six years of the 16.33% stake that Sengupta, Bhat and Bhatt will own. For now, the trio do not get even the crumbs, but they’ll get it with time.


Scarecrow, as an agency, has been doing reasonably well with an impressive clients roster. It has done reasonably well on the awards circuit, though it boycotted Goafest 2018 reportedly because (Manish) Bhatt was upset on not being invited to be part of the Master Jury for the Creative Awards.


So will M&C Saatchi truck with Scarecrow work? Yes, it should, say observers. Even though the 23-year-old agency formed by Jeremy Sinclair (Chairman), Bill Muirhead, David Kershaw (Chief Executive) and the brothers Maurice and Charles Saatchi has floundered in the country. Its buy of Delhi-based February in 2014 and the setting of the mobile arm have not achieved much. In 2015, it sold its digital and direct business to Pi Communcations.


The Scarecrow co-founders Bhat, Bhatt & Sengupta are known to have the drive and have produced advertising that has been memorable.


We’ll wait to see what happens next. We can sure it’ll be handed over first to that pink paper.



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