Maruti, Xerox on agency hunt

By , agencyfaqs!, na | In Advertising | May 31, 2001
Maruti Udyog is reviewing agencies for its new car Every +, while Xerox has supposedly accepted calls from Rediff and McCann - with strong denials from Rediff, Xerox and Lintas


According to the industry grapevine, Maruti Udyog (MUL) has invited five agencies to pitch for Every +, its new car slated for a pre-Diwali launch. From what agencyfaqs! has gathered, the four MUL roster agencies - Lowe Lintas & Partners, Saatchi & Saatchi, Rediffusion and Capital Advertising are in the fray, while the hitherto media-shy Percept Hakohudo is the new entrant in the five-cornered pitch for the said Rs 8-crore account.

From the preliminary information doing the rounds, the pitch is said to be both strategic and creative - since it is for a product launch. According to an agencyfaqs! source, as per the client brief, the intangibles that the respective agencies are to highlight are 'comfort' and 'luxury'. The eight-seater Every + is expected to wear a price tag of around Rs 5-5.5 lakh. Every + is to be positioned as family car, and targets consumers "who would go for a Baleno or an Esteem, an IKON, an Accent or a Corsa".

Unconfirmed rumours doing the rounds also suggest that MUL is scouting for a new agency to handle the Zen account. Of course, there is no evidence to either validate or negate this rumour. Incidentally, the Zen account moved to Rediffusion from Lowe Lintas just nine months ago. For the record, Lowe Lintas has the Suzuki Baleno and Alto accounts, Saatchi has the WagonR business, Rediffusion has the Zen, Maruti Omni and Maruti 800 accounts, while Capital services MUL corporate.

While more details of the pitch are not known, a sentiment that agencyfaqs! has picked up is that for the moment, Percept Hakohudo is being viewed as the proverbial dark horse.

Vis-à-vis Xerox, although the company has denied the report of 'a pitch', speculation is rife that Lintas (the incumbent) is under threat - from McCann-Erickson and Rediffusion. While McCann did not deny the rumour, an executive at Rediffusion vehemently denied it. Which makes sense, considering Rediff handles Canon's office equipment business. And Canon is in direct competition with Xerox in copiers!

When contacted, a senior communications executive at Xerox too was quite uncommunicative. "There is no pitch… just a process of review. Lintas is still the official agency." When pressed for details, the cryptic reply was, "There's a lot happening, and we are looking at how to cope with things."

Lintas, understandably, dismissed all such possibilities. Sarang Wahal, brand services director, Lowe Lintas & Partners, said, "I am not aware of any pitch whatsoever. And working on the brand, I should know. In fact, we are currently working on a few new product launches."

What is significant about Xerox is that globally, the Xerox Corp account is with Dentsu Young & Rubicam (China, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Thailand), McCann-Erickson (Middle-East, Hong Kong and Bolivia) and Y&R Advertising (Europe, the US and parts of Asia). Hmmm, interesting…

Watch this space for more.

© 2001 agencyfaqs!