McCann-Erickson's Delhi office has bagged three new accounts in quick succession. It has picked up the advertising accounts of Zee News and Zee International as well as the media business of Hughes Network Systems' corporate account. Put together, the three businesses are likely to add a cool Rs 10-12-crore to McCann-Erickson's Delhi kitty.
It is clear that there was no pitch for the two Zee accounts. Talking on behalf of Zee, Satish Menon said, while the Zee News account has been formally awarded to McCann-Erickson, "certain things" are yet to be finalised on Zee International. "We have definitely signed on McCann-Erickson for Zee News, but we still need to work on a few details so far as the Zee International account is concerned. I would be able to talk about it more definitely in about a week's time," he left it at that.
Talking informally to agencyfaqs! a senior executive of Zee's Delhi office said, "Zee would eventually sign on McCann for (Zee) International as well and that has been communicated to the agency. I guess there are two things that are delaying the process. One, most of the negotiations on Zee International is happening in Mumbai, while the account will be handled out of the agency's Delhi office - so there's a lag. There were no issues on Zee News as both the parties are centred at Delhi. Two, Zee's senior execs were tied up lately because of Zee's recent partnership with a foreign institutional investor. So the deal couldn't be formalised."
The McCann-Erickson brass, however, is less cagey. Sanjay Nayak, senior vice-president and general manager, Delhi, said, "Zee International has footprints in Australia, Middle East, the US and the UK. The US and the UK activities would be handled by McCann."
However, it is unclear which agency the account moves from. Menon of Zee told agencyfaqs! that the account moves from Rediffusion. While Rediffusion denied having done any 'work' for Zee News, Percept, Delhi, was clearly under the impression that it was working on the account since last year. Indeed, around this time last year, Percept was handed the Rs 5-crore account with a clear brief from the then marketing chief of Zee News about his plans for the channel. Confirming the move, Navroze Dhondy, chief operating officer, Percept, had told agencyfaqs!, "What they (Zee News) need is an integrated marketing approach to develop the channel as an upmarket brand. So we plan to focus on developing a complete communication package for Zee News."
Whatever may be the case, McCann-Erickson executives couldn't have been less bothered. "We are looking forward to the assignment. In fact, we have started work on Zee News already," said Nayak.
The Hughes media account is a prestigious win for McCann-Erickson. The Rs 500-crore Hughes Network Systems, India, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hughes Electronics Corporation, the world's largest provider of broadband satellite network solutions. Talking to agencyfaqs!, Pranav Roach, president, Hughes Network Systems India, said, that the latest corporate campaign for Hughes is part of a broader exercise to refocus the brand internationally. "The creative has been developed by Globalworks, New York. McCann India will be doing the media planning and the releases for the time being," he said
The first leg of the campaign broke yesterday with the first commercials being on air on Max (Sony). The campaign is also a prelude to the launch of new products and services in India, indicated Roach. The campaign will run till September 2001. It will be followed by more product and service-specific advertisements.
While Roach refused to put an exact figure, he indicated that the Hughes media account would be worth between Rs 3-5 crore. "The communication exercise will be done in several bursts over the next few months," he said. "For the time being, we will source the creative from Globalworks till we review the account this year end. Then we shall decide whether to take on an agency here to do the creative as well."
McCann-Erickson obviously is keeping its fingers crossed!
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