MSLGroup has announced it is incorporating fellow Publicis Groupe-owned Arc PR in Sri Lanka into its fold.
Arc PR Sri Lanka is to be rebranded as MSLGroup Sri Lanka, effective immediately.
Arc, which won 2015 South Asia PR Agency of the Year at Campaign Asia-Pacific’s awards in December, will continue with the same nine-strong team and be led by Caryll Van Dort. Her new title is director at MSLGroup.
Glenn Osaki, MSLGroup’s Asia president, told PRWeek Asia the decision to rebrand Arc PR in Sri Lanka was "one of the easiest to make" as it is "arguably the best PR agency in the country".
"We know that we have a top-notch team here. MSLGroup is the PR brand of Publicis Groupe, so it makes all the sense in the world to have Arc PR become MSLGroup," he said.
"We can now elevate Arc PR to the next level. We can take a core team that’s terrific in the local market and help them in terms of access to international resources, tools and methodologies, case studies, and share the talent we have across Asia."
Osaki said the Sri Lankan comms market is "primed for growth", thanks to a fast-growing economy, stable government and big overseas investment.
"It's very exciting and the rebranding is so timely because of all the things happening in the Sri Lankan market today," he said.
MSLGroup Sri Lanka will be overseen by Ranil de Silva, managing director of Leo Burnett in Sri Lanka who is responsible for all Publicis brands in the country.
Van Dort added that the rebrand was "a dream" for Arc PR in Sri Lanka, as the firm has worked closely with MSLGroup in the past on several occasions.
"It doesn’t change business operations in Colombo," she said. "But we will now have access to regional expertise and new learnings that will strengthen the business we have here."
MSLGroup will continue to partner with other Publicis agencies in the market. As an affiliate of MSLGroup since its establishment in 2006, Arc has worked on several global and régional projects with MSLGroup over the years.
Arc also -serviced a range of clients together with Leo Burnett, including Coca-Cola, Samsung, Oman Air and local companies such as Blue Mountain Group, CIC, People’s Bank, Hirdaramani and Amana Takaful.
Osaki said MSLGroup Sri Lanka will continue to "work seamlessly" with the other Publicis firms in Sri Lanks and Asia more widely, as part of Publicis' restructuring initiative announced in December to create four 'solution hubs' and be more integrated across its agencies.
"The rebranding today is a great proof point of that vision," he said. "We're really going to market with a single approach for our clients."
Osaki also said MSLGroup is "looking to invest more" in Arc PR Sri Lanka in the long-term, while Arc Worldwide still remains as Publicis Groupe’s leading shopper activation arm.
"I can’t speak for Arc Worldwide, but for the team rebranded to MSLGroup in Sri Lanka I can definitely say there will be investment," he said.