Financial major ICICI has awarded its Rs 12 crore personal loans business to Mumbai-based agency St Luke's.
While confirming the development, Praveen Kenneth, managing director, St Luke's, says, "As an agency, we always focus on blue-chip clients. Winning the ICICI personal loan business only reaffirms this fact."
The decision to award the business to St Luke's essentially reflects ICICI's strategy to consolidate its entire personal loans portfolio with one agency, instead of following a piecemeal approach.
ICICI executives said advertising for the personal loans division was earlier divided amongst roster agencies. In some cases, even non-empaneled agencies have been pressed into service.
"Personal loans can be segregated into commercial vehicle finance, white goods finance and various other categories. Typically, a local ad would be released by the dealer in association with ICICI. There have been quite a few instances where creatives have been outsourced from even local agencies, over and above the work by the agencies on our panel," said a senior ICICI executive.
"As the personal loans business grew, we realised the need for consolidation. We were looking for a partner who can strike a fine balance between strategic planning and creative," he added. And, that's the reason why the pitch was called in the first place.
According to sources in the know, there were some 10 agencies in the fray. In the final short-list, there were three agencies, including Bates India and St Luke's. The name of the third agency could not be ascertained.
Talking about what swung the decision in St Luke's favour, Anil S Nair, the agency's COO, said, "ICICI was looking for a pragmatic approach for building and promoting the personal loans brand. Our presentation, I gather, did just that. We talked about the consumer's perception towards personal loans and how through communication, a behavioural change could be brought about. Besides that, our passion and commitment also got us noticed."
In terms of the way forward for the agency, Nair explained, "ICICI has always developed and grown a category - be it the home loans or credit card businesses. And never is the communication strategy devised keeping competition in mind. It is always geared towards impacting the market. In that context, our task is to bring about a similar change with the personal loans category."
ICICI has quite a few agencies in its payroll: Lowe (banking services), Leo Burnett (credit card), Ambience Publicis (corporate banking and global money remittance), O&M Financial (car loans), Contact (home loans), and SSC&B (current account). © 2005 agencyfaqs!