BPL has moved its colour television account to Bangalore-based Kamerad Advertising. The Rs 50-crore account used to be serviced by Rediffusion and moved to Kamerad in early February. BPL has 25 CTV models in the price range of Rs 7,000 to Rs 70,000.
Talking on behalf of BPL, company executive Anand Narasimhan, indicated that BPL was 'unhappy' with Rediffusion's work. He said, "We wanted some value-addition in the business in terms of strategy and communication. We were impressed with what Saatchi & Saatchi had to offer." Incidentally, Mumbai-based Saatchi & Saatchi had recently bought into Kamerad Advertising. However, both Kamerad and Saatchi & Saatchi executives refused to talk about the exact nature of this equity participation saying that it is a matter of "private concern".
As it emerged, the durables behemoth didn't call for a formal agency pitch before handing the account to Kamerad. "We took this step because of internal reasons. Since the decision was taken internally, the pitch was not required. The account formally moved on February 1," said Narasimhan.
The rejig comes at a time when most CTV manufactures are facing a sharp drop in sales. During 1999-2000, the cricket World Cup gave a boost to the CTV sales to a large extent, and BPL sold more than one million CTVs during the same period. During 2000-2001, however, even the Olympics failed to shore up industry volumes.
As the CTV market has become extremely competitive, BPL is now looking at a multiple brand strategy and aggressive promotional exercises. The company is pinning its hopes on two of its frontline brands. At the top end, BPL has Digital BPL, a competitor for Sony and Panasonic, and to fend of the price warriors like Sansui and Akai, it has Evelux.
Talking about the background to the shift of the BPL account, Narasimhan said that the Nambiar family, the promoters of BPL, own a stake in Kamerad as well. "We were looking at ways to revive Kamerad. We were talking to several agency networks for a possible strategic business tie-up. And our negotiations with Saatchi & Saatchi worked out the way we expected and the tie-up happened. We decided to kickstart the process of rejuvenation of the agency by giving them the BPL account, which is both large and challenging."
To put things into perspective, the BPL account is highly splintered. Post the recent reshuffle, BPL's agency roster reads like this: Kamerad will handle BPL's CTV, corporate, audio and the newly launched Evelux range of televisions; Saatchi & Saatchi will handle the company's washing machine and refrigerator accounts; McCann Erickson will service the Micro and Pro Fx Hi Fi music systems and the batteries business will remain with Lowe Lintas & Partners.
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