Madison to handle media duties for Starbucks

By Ashwini Gangal , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Media Planning & Buying | January 21, 2013
JWT is the creative agency on the Starbucks business in India.

Premium coffee chain Starbucks will work with Madison in India for its media planning and buying.


Starbucks recently entered the country through an association with Tata Global Beverages, part of the global Tata Group. The media mandate for Tata Tea, the popular household beverage from the stable of Tata Global Beverages, is currently with Madison. By virtue of this association, the agency has been handed the media duties for Starbucks. Madison Media Group has been handling the media duties for Tata Tea since 2005.

It is, however, pertinent to note that a media pitch for Tata Tea is underway in Bengaluru. The process that began in mid-2012 is yet to yield a result.

Early last year, a 50:50 joint venture between Tata Global Beverages and Starbucks Coffee Company -- called Tata Starbucks Limited -- was declared. As per the announcement, this company owns and operates Starbucks cafés in the country, which are branded as 'Starbucks Coffee - A Tata Alliance'.

Tata Starbucks Powai Store

Tata Starbucks began operations in India in October, 2012 with the launch of three stores within a week (between October 19 and 25, 2012) in Mumbai. Last week, the fourth store was launched in the city, at Powai.

It may be noted that last month, Cafe Coffee Day (CCD) appointed Madison Media Omega, an arm of Madison Media, as its media agency of record (AoR). Given that CCD and Starbucks are in direct competition with one another, will this pose a conflict for the agency?

"As of now, there is no conflict as Starbucks has no immediate media plans in this market. If and when a media plan for Starbucks arises, we'll decide at that time how best to handle it," says a source at Madison.

The source admits that Madison may allot the Starbucks account to a separate vertical, while Omega continues to work on the CCD business; or perhaps the media platforms the brands wish to exploit will differ, negating the possibility of a conflict for the agency. "We'll cross that bridge once we reach it,"

says the source.

In September 2012, afaqs! reported that JWT had been brought on board to handle the creative duties of Starbucks in India.

Overseas, Wieden+Kennedy has worked on the Starbucks account before 2008, after which BBDO took over the duties. Last year, Starbucks China awarded JWT Shanghai its digital strategy and social media engagement business.

Starbucks currently has nearly 18,000 outlets in 60 countries around the globe.

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