Maxus loses four media accounts to IG Square

IG Square has won the media remit for Stylo (Pvt.) Limited, United Industries Ltd, MG JW Automobile Pakistan, Mitchell’s Fruit Farms Limited, GFC, and Mughal Steel. Co-founded by Adnan Shaikh and Sarwar Khan, IG Square is a media buying house specializing in fit for format media solutions that embrace data, content, and technology. 

Stylo (Pvt.) Limited was formerly a media client of Brainchild Communications Pakistan while MG JW Automobile Pakistan is a new market entrant that chose IG Square as its first media agency in the country. United Industries Ltd, GFC, Mitchell’s Fruit Farms Limited, and Mughal Steel were media clients of Maxus, as confirmed by the Pakistan Broadcasters Association client database. 

While speaking to Profit, a spokesperson from GroupM insinuated that the media investment company was still in talks with United Industries Ltd, suggesting the handover was incomplete. According to the representative, the Maxus office had issued provisional non objection certificates to several clients that IG Square is actively poaching, adding that if the new relationship doesn’t work out, GroupM and Maxus are always ready to help.

“In Lahore, business is won and lost on the tenure of relationships, not on competence or incompetence,” said a leading media professional. “Services offered are somewhat commoditized at the moment, so if you have a long standing relationship with a tier two client, stealing them from your former agency is easy.”

Shaikh, who has served GroupM, Z2C Limited, and Brainchild Communications Pakistan as a chief financial officer, is the co-founder and chief operating officer of IG Square. Khan the chief executive officer of IG Square and former managing director of Maxus, a media agency under GroupM did not comment for this story despite multiple requests.

The Lahore-headquartered media agency is currently in the process of setting up an office in Karachi comprising client services and media management teams. The media agency is also shortlisted for the $5 million Reckitt Benckiser media review, which will announce the winning media agency at the end of November 2020.

While Khan declined to share which global advertising holding company IG Square is affiliated with, the decision by Reckitt Benckiser to shortlist the young media agency suggests that IG Square has either secured a global affiliation or is in talks with one. 

Given that IG Square will bid for the Nestle media review in Q1 2021, the latter appears more likely. Currently managed by Maxus Pakistan – soon to be rebranded as Wavemaker Pakistan – the Nestle media account is worth Rs2.5 billion ($16 million) and represents nearly a third of Pakistan billings for the leading media agency.

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Babar Khan Javed
Babar Khan Javed
Babar Khan Javed covers the advertising industry and marketing function in Pakistan for Profit. He can be reached on [email protected] with details about media, creative, and digital briefs, future projects, management changes, client wins or losses, and everything in between.
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