Publicis bags Loksatta, the Marathi daily from the Indian Express Group

By , agencyfaqs! | In | July 02, 2002
The account is estimated at Rs 3 crore and moves from Market Missionaries

The monsoon showers of Mumbai have brought with it some good news for Publicis. The latest being that its Mumbai branch has won the Rs 2.5-crore to Rs 3-crore advertising business of Marathi daily Loksatta, published by the Mumbai-based Indian Express Group. The win comprises both creative and media duties. To be precise, while the creative duties are with Publicis, the media part of the business is with Publicis' media arm OptiMedia.

The news comes close on the heels of two other major developments at Publicis. First was the appointment of Param Saikia as the agency COO, and the second was anther big gain in the form of Compaq (which is part of the new HP business post the HP-Compaq global merger in September last year), an account estimated at Rs 25 crore.

Given this spate of good news, the agency brass is obviously delighted. "I am looking forward to working with the Indian Express Group," says Bharat Dabholkar, managing director, Publicis India. More so, because Loksatta is the top Marathi daily, according to the latest NRS figures.

The gain however, was not followed by a pitch. Apparently, the client was also quite keen on building an association with Publicis. Thus the publication got in touch with the agency and decided to move the business from Market Missionaries to the French advertising major's Mumbai-based subsidiary.

Quite obviously, there was a need to do so. The Marathi daily was in urgent need for a facelift. Talking about the brief Dabholkar says, "Loksatta's current circulation is 3.69 lakh, and it has a readership base of 29.61 lakh, which makes it the largest circulated Marathi daily in Mumbai and the second largest newspaper all-India. The idea would therefore be to communicate to the current readers of Loksatta that they made the right decision - about continuing to read the vernacular daily."

Publicis' task, in effect, is two fold. First of course is to communicate with readers, and the second, communicate with advertisers. "The objective is to highlight the statistics of Loksatta, which is often overlooked due to the misperception that 'Mumbai means English only'. Advertisers are under the impression that Maharashtra Times has a wider reach because they see paper as part of the Times of India package. In the process, they overlook the figures of Loksatta, which is larger," adds Dabholkar.

Thus Publicis will be responsible for developing "an image building communication package" for the newspaper, aimed both at drawing in readers and changing advertiser perception. In fact, a multimedia campaign is likely to break this month.

Loksatta is the third media brand in Publicis' portfolio. The agency handles STAR Gold, the Hindi movie channel from the STAR TV network, and India's largest read Hindi newspaper - Dainik Bhaskar. © 2002 agencyfaqs!

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