Pioneer ITI leads and Templeton follows in the image stakes

By , agencyfaqs!, na | In Advertising | April 18, 2002
In a business choc-a-bloc with competitors, most of them new, catching the public eye is the foundation stone of winning their faith

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Pioneer ITI, India's oldest and largest private sector mutual fund, is the best-viewed company in the media in the mutual fund category. This is the finding of Cirrus, a corporate image tracking service from agencyfaqs!. And while Cirrus began tracking data in October 2001, Pioneer ITI got into top gear only in February 2002, to take pole position - one it hasn't let go of since. (The Cirrus Image Index looks at cumulative coverage from October 1, after giving weightage to positive and negative stories.)

Templeton reached its No 2 position at the end of March. On the overall Cirrus Image Index, which rates the top 1,100 corporates of India, Pioneer ITI is No 98 (the order changes on a daily basis, based on press coverage), Templeton (No 122), Birla Sun Life (No 157), HDFC Asset Management (No 177) and DSP Merrill Lynch (No 189).

The category is marked by change, yet the fluctuations are not dramatic. It is instead a keenly contested race. The players lie pretty close to one another. Sample this: Prudential ICICI is No 238, Sun F&C follows (No 243), Kotak Mahindra is next (No 252), SBI Funds (No 254), IDBI Principal (No 255) and Zurich India Asset Management (No 259).

Most of the companies are also well spread out across cities. A quick look at the data (all publications, Hindi and English) for six months for the metros plus Bangalore, Ahmedabad and Hyderabad shows that the No 1, Pioneer ITI, is the most visible in Chennai and gets its largest image share from this city. In this respect it is weakest in Delhi. Templeton is strongest in Bangalore and weakest in Mumbai. HDFC, IDBI Principal and Prudential ICICI have a balanced presence.

It's interesting to note that this category has hardly any known faces to speak of. No wonder that personalities have hardly accounted for much of the companies' media presence. Financials and marketing and sales news continue to be the writing points for most players. © 2002 agencyfaqs!