afaqs!

National Geographic on agency hunt

By , agencyfaqs! | In | December 07, 2000
National Geographic is scouting for an advertising agency

agencyfaqs! News Bureau
NEW DELHI, December 7

Special interest channel National Geographic is scouting for an advertising agency. In the fray are two of India's top five agencies besides Contract Advertising, which was ranked eleventh in the latest A&M Agency Report.

A source close to agencyfaqs! revealed that Contract made its pitch sometime back while "the others will happen over the next few days". He added that O&M has already done some outdoor work for National Geographic, though "the channel has no plans to continue with the agency or entrust the creative work to them". It seems National Geographic was also looking to work with low-profile CDH Consultants (Chaddha Dhar & Hoon) "for the quality of their creative work", but finally decided otherwise. As things stands now, "Contract seems to be the frontrunner in the exercise", said the agencyfaqs! source without wanting to be named in the article.

Picking up the cue from him, agencyfaqs! went on the agency trail. The first call was made to Contract's Delhi office. A top executive at the agency confirmed that "a presentation was made some weeks back" but added that "we do not know what has come of it." O&M Delhi proved very difficult to get through; in any case the Delhi office had very little to add to what agencyfaqs! already knew.

The next call went to CDH and the executive on the other side said while the agency hasn't made any presentation yet, it was only too keen to join the battle.

Finally, when agencyfaqs! contacted National Geographic, Aseem Kapoor, vice-president, marketing, said, "The pitch is on for some time now. And it is going on as we had scheduled it." He, however, said, "We are not looking at agencies of the stature of Contract, O&M or CDH. Yes, we did some work with O&M - mainly outdoor. They did all the bus-shelters in Delhi and the big hoarding on Mahim causeway in Mumbai. But that's about it. But their expectations and ours didn't quite match." Kapoor declined to elaborate on the expectation bit - both what the channel expected of the agency and what the agency expected of the channel.

He, however, said that the channel was mainly looking at below-the-line promotions rather than big-budget, mass media advertising. "That is the reason we are looking for a particular type of agency and not the other."

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