Alliance Capital Asset Management Company has moved its advertising account out of Publicis Zen and awarded the business to Equus Advertising's Mumbai office. The financial services major formally signed on Equus two days ago, ending its six-year association with Publicis (formerly Zen).
According to sources close to agencyfaqs!, Alliance Capital zeroed-in on Equus following a three-week-long pitch involving three agencies. While agencyfaqs! has gathered that Publicis did not defend the account, the identity of the other two contenders is not clear. Incidentally, Alliance Capital has also moved its media account to Carat.
Talking about the win, Anu Raj, account director, Equus Advertising, reveals that the agency bagged the account on the back of a credentials-cum-creative/strategy presentation. "Our fairly sound understanding of the financial market - thanks to our association with IDBI Bank and Max New York Life - worked very well with the client," she says. "Plus the fact that we displayed a strong willingness to understand their business. I think our passion to work with them came through."
For a company that competes in the fund management space (both retail and corporate) with the likes of Franklin Templeton, Prudential ICICI and HDFC, the past year or so has been rough sailing, owning largely to the sluggish equity market. And notwithstanding a buoyant performance in the 1995-99 period, Alliance's reputation has taken a hit.
Raj admits that the challenge before Alliance Capital and Equus is to "reassure the consumer that Alliance is still the best bet. After all, its pedigree and performance cannot be faulted, and this temporary blip is rooted in a market slowdown. Also, considering there are signs of an upswing in the equity market, our job is to convince the consumer that now is the best time to invest."
Raj is unwilling to put a figure to the size of the account. "In fund management, there are no 'earmarked budgets'. It depends entirely on the market response. You draw your spend ratios as you go along." She does, however, reveal that work on the account has started, and should break by end December. "We are quite pleased with the win," she adds. "With Alliance, we have representation across the entire fabric of financial services."
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