Alkem Laboratories, the & #BANNER1 & # pharmaceutical company, has appointed the Starcom MediaVest Group as its media AOR (agency of record). Alkem plans to venture into the consumer products category with functional foods, with a focus on building OTC products and brands. The creative duties are being handled by Capital Advertising.
The size of the business is estimated to be Rs 15-18 crore.
According to Praful Gupta, marketing manager, Alkem Laboratories, the business has been awarded to Starcom based on the agency's experience of handling Balsara. Gupta says, "We were aware of Starcom's professional, passionate and 'nuts and bolts' approach to communication and contact planning. Its expertise in launching brands was another criterion that made us decide in its favour."
Gupta adds, "The agency now seems to have emerged stronger on real-time delivery with the capability to handle almost all aspects of communication through its various divisions and arms."
Manish Porwal, executive director, Starcom Worldwide, India-West, who seems quite enthused about bagging this new business, says, "The biggest advantage in working on this account is that the company is already aware of our credibility."
"We are also glad that we did not have to get into a speculative pitch to be their partner in their new endeavours," he adds.
When asked about the strategy that is to be adopted for this soon to be launched brand, Porwal says, "We have had the experience of launching more than a dozen brands in the last two years and our experience says that while launching a brand, one needs to be media neutral and more consumer oriented."
He adds, "Today, media agencies are playing a much larger role, starting from conceptualising to contact planning for the brand."
For Alkem's soon to be launched functional food brand, Starcom is currently in the stage of a consumer audit to find out who its consumers are and where to reach out to them. A decision on which media to use will come later.
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