Essel Group consolidates media account with Madison Media

By , agencyfaqs! | In | March 08, 2002
The Essel Group of companies has consolidated the media account of all the group companies with Madison Media, Mumbai

Madison Media, the media buying division of Madison Communications, has bagged the media buying and planning account of the Rs 4,500-crore Essel Group. The account is estimated at Rs 100 crore and includes the media business of all the 13 channels in the Zee bouquet, Agrani Convergence and the Super Lotto online lottery business of the newly launched Playwin Infravest. In a separate move, the Essel Group has handed the outdoor advertising business of Playwin Infravest and Zee Network to Madison Outdoor Media Services (MOMS), the independent outdoor unit of Madison.

Confirming the move Punitha Arumugam, chief operating officer, Madison Media (West) told agencyfaqs!, "I think it was our credential and our expertise in the media business that helped swing the account in our favour. And also their experience in dealing with us when we buy time for our clients." She indicated the pitch happened in January this year and the account came Madison's way earlier this month. For the record, Madison Media handles the media accounts of Coca-Cola, Procter & Gamble, Godrej Consumer Products, Godrej Sara Lee, Kinetic, Maruti and BPL, among others.

Zee officials said the Playwin account moved from MindShare and the Zee Network media account moved from Rediffusion DY&R. While both Madison and Zee executives refused to confirm this, information available with agencyfaqs! indicates there were four agencies in the contention for Essel's media account. Partha Sinha, director, marketing, Zee Network, gave an indication of the possible benefits of the consolidation. "One, as long as the Essel Group companies were managing media separately, we were not getting the benefits of scale. This move will hopefully sort that problem. Two, we hope to get some value-adds for our brands as an effect of joint buying."

To put things into perspective, Playwin Infrawest, India's first online lottery, went live on March 5, with Sikkim state lottery's Super Lotto. Online lottery is a huge business globally with a market size of $125 billion and about 80 per cent of the UK population participates in such lotteries.

The online lottery business has been identified as a potential growth segment for the Zee group, which is understandable given its potential. The lottery business in India is estimated at Rs 50,000 crore currently. Essel Group's Playwin, through aggressive advertising in press, television and outdoors hopes to enlarge the market and win "a substantial share of the enlarged market".

The Essel Group has invested Rs 300 crore into the venture, and in addition to huge billboard advertising, promising that 15,000 crorepatis have been created in the United States, and that many more could be created here, Playwin Infrawest has installed 300 on-line playing terminals at retail centres across all the 14 lottery playing states. Each terminal has been installed at Rs 3 lakh.

Media promotion is expected to be used aggressively to push the lottery business. Said Arumugam, "We will make media a key driver to build the various brands of the Essel Group." © 2002 agencyfaqs!

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