Publicis Groupe acquires healthcare advertising agency Watermelon

Publicis Groupe is acquiring a majority stake in a healthcare advertising agency in Mumbai, India-Watermelon Healthcare Communications Private Limited. On completion of this transaction, this entity will become part of Publicis Healthcare Communications Group (PHCG) and will be renamed Publicis Life Brands Watermelon. This transaction is subject to customary local closing conditions.

As one of the leading healthcare advertising agencies in India, Watermelon is a full-service advertising agency that has built its business around traditional and new media since its inception 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. Watermelon has worked hard to boost its creative excellence and has received many awards, including 12 awards of excellence at the recent Rx Awards. Watermelon’s clients includes many of the top pharma and biotech companies-AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Merck Specialties, MSD Pharmaceuticals, and Novartis to name a few.

Watermelon’s founders, Abhijit Shitut and Kiran Pai, will be named joint Managing Directors at Publicis Life Brands Watermelon. “We are excited to be part of PHCG and believe this will help us change the landscape of healthcare communications in India” commented Abhijit Shitut and Kiran Pai. “Because PHCG is revered for its excellence in global communications in the healthcare sector, we look forward to working together in leveraging their knowledge and global network in our local market”;

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.”

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