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Law & Kenneth makes up for Skoda's loss; grabs the Renault India business

In a closely fought pitch, Law & Kenneth won the account, after three agencies were shortlisted for the final round; the account size is in excess of Rs 50 crore

It was one of the most sought-after businesses, as over 20 agencies matched wits to win the Renault India account, when the French car maker called for a creative and media pitch in May.

After a closely fought battle, it is Law & Kenneth who has bagged the creative mandate. For the agency, losing the Skoda business might just be a blessing in disguise from a financial perspective, with sources pegging the Renault account size in excess of Rs 50 crore. The business will be handled out of the agency's Chennai branch.

Though specialised pitches were also made for specific areas such as digital, promos and event, Law & Kenneth has won the integrated duties.

It is learnt that around 22 agencies first approached Renault India with their requests, of which about seven were called for the first round of presentations, in the first week of June.

Eventually, Law & Kenneth, Saatchi & Saatchi and Publicis Ambience were selected for the final round of presentations, which was attended by the who's who of both Renault worldwide and the participating agencies. For the record, Publicis handles the creative duties for Renault worldwide.

Anil Nair, CEO and managing partner, Law & Kenneth has confirmed the development to afaqs!.

The company, which is also evaluating dealerships, is looking at operational dealerships by mid 2011 in tier I cities. After the launch, Renault plans to open 70 dealerships across important tier I and tier II cities by the end of 2013. The company expects to have at least five of its cars on the road by 2013, with the first car being launched around April next year.

The first cars to hit the Indian roads will be Renault's luxury sedan, Fluence and a 4X4 crossover, Koleos. A hatchback is also on the cards, as Renault's full global range is unveiled.

Renault has already sampled the Indian market in a joint venture with Mahindra, which broke recently, with Mahindra buying out Renault's stake.

Following which the company decided to go independent in India and has already invested about Rs 5,000 crore in setting up a green-field facility to manufacture 400,000 cars per year, as well as a global engineering and procurement centre in Chennai, jointly with alliance partner, Nissan.

The task is clear-cut for the agency - it will have to be up to the challenge posed by other big spenders such as Volkswagen, and will also have to look beyond the Mahindra Logan experience of Renault. The Skoda experience would surely prove handy for Law & Kenneth.

For Renault, India is a very crucial market, where it would look at maintaining its premium European appeal while selling cars to the masses.

Follow Biprorshee Das

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