Media, a leading media company in the country, has switched creative agencies for its English newspaper, Hindustan Times. The creative duties for the brand have moved from O&M to Lowe.
Today morning, afaqs! had wrongly reported that HT Media's entire portfolio (the brands which were under O&M's custody) had moved to Lowe. However, Shantanu Bhanja, vice-president, marketing, HT clarified later that only the English daily business has moved to Lowe.
Lowe already handles a few HT Media brands such as the website, www.hindustantimes.com; the recruitment portal, www.shine.com; and the radio station, Fever 104 FM.
Meanwhile, O&M continues to look after Hindustan, the Hindi daily; the business newspaper, Mint and the youth paper, HT Next. The media duties continue to be with Maxus.
HT's creative duties have been handled by agencies such as Grey and JWT (then HTA) in the past. Coincidentally, JWT is now the creative custodian of HT's rival brand, The Times of India.
JWT had won the HT account in 2000, but lost it to Grey in 2001. In 2003, O&M was roped in as the creative agency. HT launched HT Next in 2004 and Mint in 2006, and O&M was on a roll, winning both accounts.
Unlike in the case of the creative duties of Mint, a multi-agency pitch was not called this time. Sources confirm that HT saw Lowe adding value to the brand. The switch was also engineered by the fact that it was looking for fresh ideas.