Lowe Lintas' Delhi office has walked away with the much-coveted Indian Army account that was put on review last March. The account is estimated at Rs 5.5 crore. When contacted, Preet Bedi, director, Lowe Lintas & Partners, confirmed the move and said, "Our boys have already started work on the account." However, he refused to comment on the size of the new advertising business.
agencyfaqs! die-hards would recall the article we ran on March 14, 2001 (Indian Army puts Rs 5.5-crore account on review), where we had stated the details of the pitch. To put things in perspective, the pitch took place in three rounds between December 2000 and February 2001.
It is learnt that about 20 agencies in Delhi were asked to 'submit their work' in the first round which took place in December 2000. At the end of this round, the Indian Army personnel in charge of agency selection process made a shortlist of five agencies, which were called for a 'formal presentation' soon after. Some weeks later, these agencies were called to present 'a media brief' in the third round. Among the five agencies in the Army shortlist were Lintas, O&M, Rediffusion, Mudra and, of course, incumbent HTA. On its part, HTA had won the account in 1997. The following year, the account was put up for review; but HTA retained it for the next couple of years.
Interestingly, Lintas executives in Delhi were "intimated unofficially" about their winning the account some three months back. However, political uncertainty arising out of terrorist attacks in the US and then the December 13 attacks on the Indian Parliament had pushed the legalities of the account handover in the back burner. "Now that we have signed on the dotted lines we are ready to go public with the announcement," revealed an agency insider.
Talking about the gist of Lintas' presentation before the army brass, he added, "We defined our focus very clearly from the beginning. It's all very fine to challenge people with 'Do you have it in you?' and all that (as the earlier campaign by HTA ran). The question that was not answered was: What does the Army have to offer to these guys who are putting their lives at stake. The earlier campaign, in that sense, didn't offer a 'take home' to the prospective candidate. So, that is the issue we tried to address: give these guys who are making a career choice a reason why."
In a few months' time it would be clear how the Indian Army and its new agency take their agenda forward.
© 2002 agencyfaqs!