On November 3, a couple of media agencies made a beeline for the Tata AIG office located at Peninsula Chambers in Mumbai.
The flurry of activity was on account of the much-awaited media pitch called by the company in recent weeks.
Following in the footsteps of sister concerns - Tata Motors, Trent, Tata Teleservices (for Tata Indicom) and Titan, insurance player Tata AIG has put its media business on the block. Agencies in the fray for the estimated Rs 10 crore planning and buying assignment are Madison, Starcom, Mediaedge:cia (from GroupM), Lodestar, The Media Edge (TME) and Insight (part of Lintas Media Services).
The pitch will extend for another few days, given the number of agencies. However, the interesting bit is the inclusion of TME - the incumbent buying agency - in the pitch process.
Tata AIG has opted to buck the trend of not inviting the buying agency to defend its business, and infact, is the first group company to do so.
The Tata group had consolidated its Rs 200-crore media buying business with TME over two years ago. But, following a split and since June this year, the portfolio has been disintegrating with individual group companies opting to go their own way.
Tata Motors - the first group company to go with a new set of agencies - consolidated planning and buying of its passenger car business with Lodestar, while planning and buying for its SUV business was consolidated with Maxus. TME retained the buses and trucks account.
Trent and Tata Teleservices, on the other hand, were lapped up by Lodestar, and the decision on Titan is still awaited.
Sources in the know indicate that Tata AIG has plans to up its spends in the coming months, with an aggressive media thrust on the cards. Its creative agency is Bates, while media planning is handled by Mediaedge:cia.
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