Four agencies - Maximize India, Lodestar (FCB-Ulka), Starcom Mediavest Group (Leo Burnett, Ambience, Orchard) and (defending agency) Zenith Media (media agency of Bates and Saatchi & Saatchi) - are in the running for Dr Morepen's AOR (agency of record) account.
Last fiscal the media spend of Dr Morepen was to the tune of Rs 10 crore. This year the budget is expected to go up to Rs 20 crore-Rs 25 crore. This pitch is aimed at settling two things - the AOR for the brands Dab Fizz, Sat Isabgol, Gol-Goli, 2-Kool, C-Candy, C-Sip and Y-Sugar, and the agency that gets to handle the AOR for Medipath products (Dr Morepen's diagnostics division selling medical devices and clinical diagnostic products).
The decision is expected to be taken by end May.
Dr Morepen executives insist the pitch does not imply the company is unhappy with the services of incumbent agency Zenith Media. "We are quite satisfied with Zenith. As a client we want to see what the other media agencies have to offer. If we see that another agency has something more interesting, we will move the business to that agency. If not, we might decide to continue with Zenith," says Dr N K Chandrasekhar, general manager, media alliances, Dr Morepen.
It seems the decision to review the AOR account was overdue. "When Zenith was appointed last year, we made it amply clear that at the beginning of the new fiscal, we would look at the media business again to explore better options," adds Chandrasekhar. In accordance with the plan, at the end of the last fiscal, Dr Morepen got in touch with a couple of media agencies, and short-listed Maximize, Lodestar and Starcom.
The pitch process looks interesting. Each of the four agencies have been given an existing Dr Morepen brand and a certain budget. With the allocated budget, the task for the agency is to demonstrate the best way to proceed with the brand.
To make the pitch process fair, the agencies were handed printed briefs. In fact, before the brief was given to the agencies, suggestions from the agencies on how the pitch should be conducted were taken and incorporated in the final brief. "We want to keep the procedure transparent. Make it an enjoyable experience for the agencies and Dr Morepen too. We do not want the agencies that don't make it feel bad; rather, they should leave with the assurance that the pitch was fair."
Dr Morepen is very clear about the kind of agency it is looking for. "Innovation is the most critical factor. We want an agency that can present clutter breaking, revolutionary ideas on using media. I was present at the recent EMVIES and I really found the work done on Indica V2 and Maruti Versa very innovative." To put things in perspective, Lodestar had picked up two silver EMVIES for Indica V2 (one in the Best Media Strategy category, another in the Best Media Innovation - Internet category), and Madison Communications had walked away with a piece of the yellow metal for Maruti Versa (in the Best Media Innovation - TV category). "That's the real test for an agency - when all of them have access to the same information, yet come out with completely different ideas."
The company wants to be cautious in its media spends - but not at the expense of creativity. Not the rate but the effectiveness of the campaign matters," clarifies Chandrasekhar. Other parameters of selection include the number of people deployed on the account. "We would like to know the kind of manpower commitment - the managing director level onwards - the agency can give. In addition to this the agency should be able to work 24/7 … that is, whenever the need arises."
All the four competitors have to be present at the time of the final announcement of the agency slated for the second week of May. One thing is for sure. For the agency that would be appointed finally, this would be the beginning of 'a long and enduring relationship'. Â© 2002 agencyfaqs!