FCB Group-agency Interface Communications has picked up five significant advertising businesses over the past few months, adding Rs 25 crore of capitalised billing in the process. The accounts that the agency has gained are that of Blue Star air-conditioning (the account moves from Contract Advertising), Club Mahindra (from O&M), National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) and the media buying function of Pioneer Mutual Funds. The agency is also handling an assignment for dairy products brand Mother Dairy (incumbent is Interact Vision). agencyfaqs! has gathered that in most cases, the movements have been preceded by multi-agency pitches, although the specifics are not available.
"We are delighted that such leading companies have reposed their faith in us," Niteen Bhagwat, executive director, Interface Communications, told agencyfaqs!, "What is heartening is that these businesses have come in from different offices." While Blue Star and NDDB are handled out of Mumbai, Club Mahindra and Pioneer Mutual Funds are from Chennai. Mother Dairy is with Interface, Delhi.
Usually referred to as "FCB-Ulka's second agency", Interface appears to be in the process of creating a distinct identity for itself, away from Ulka's shadow. "Interface is in the process of consolidation and expansion," says Bhagwat. "We are coming into our own as a mid-sized agency of some stature." Since its creation in 1985, the agency has never quite managed to stand on its own, almost always depending on Ulka for sustenance. Until the late nineties, that is. "The rebirth of Interface has happened in the last five years," Bhagwat says. "We got in new people, looked at where we wanted to go, and have created a clear position for Interface in the market." And since 2001, some of Interface's work too has started getting noticed - particularly the work for Nerolac Excel. And Bolero, to a lesser degree.
"We are a low-profile agency - perhaps a bit too low-profile for our own good," laughs Bhagwat. "But what I can say is that we are not your typical second agency. We have a very strong product - mainline strategy. And being a part of the Interpublic Group, we bring skill sets and proprietary tools to the table that many other medium-sized agencies may not have access to. We have PR solutions, direct marketing solutions, design… And our people resources are growing by the day."
Making his point, Bhagwat draws attention to Interface's employee base. "From a 10-man outfit, we have grown to a 100-man agency. That says something." And, of course, billing. "From a Rs 10-crore agency, we are now a Rs 100-odd-crore one. What's more, from January to April 2002, we have registered 45-per cent growth. Leave alone 45 per cent, there are not too many agencies that have managed double-digit growth in the same period." Â© 2002 agencyfaqs!