In a recent move, Wipro has shifted the advertising account of its lighting business from FCB-Ulka, Bangalore, to Orchard Advertising. "This shift does not mean that the Wipro business has gone out of our fold altogether. This only means that there is some reshuffling underway and we will continue to work with them on all their main projects," Vijayan Menon, vice-president, FCB-Ulka, Bangalore, told agencyfaqs!. He, however, did not disclose any details regarding these projects, saying "work on these are at an advanced stage" and that he was not "at liberty to talk about them".
Neither the agency nor the company gave us an indication of the size of the Lighting business that has moved. Kumar Chander, general manager, Wipro Consumer Care & Lighting, said Wipro Lighting was a small account as FCB-Ulka had done some tactical work only. "We have refrained from any form of mass advertisements until now. However, we are now thinking of starting some experimental work for our lighting brands in terms of test promotions and marketing," he added. Wipro Lighting, according to Chander, is the fourth largest lighting brand in the country after Philips, Surya and Bajaj. It operates in two segments - namely, home and institutional lighting.
Significantly, the shift comes at a time when FCB-Ulka's Bangalore branch is trying to come to grips with a big employee exodus, which began early this year. agencyfaqs! has learnt from well-informed sources that FCB-Ulka, Bangalore, has lost at least 12 people since the beginning of this year, both from junior and senior ranks. Among the senior people who have quit the agency this year are client services director Santosh Menon, Raj Alexander (who was heading FCB's interactive division), creative director Subhash Tendle and media planning manager Vimal Parthasarathy.
Menon, on his part, insisted that such attrition is "normal" for any growing organisation. He also added Alexander quit "with the organisation's blessings" to set up his own consulting outfit. And that the agency actually sponsored the course that Tendle (who has served the agency for 25 years) took at MICA, so that he can pursue his dream of teaching and training people.
However, the Bangalore office of FCB-Ulka has been especially unlucky with one of its key accounts - Compaq. First, it had to cede the estimated Rs 12-crore account to its Delhi office due to some reorganisation at the company. Then, about two months back, the company started the process of clearing out of FCB-Ulka altogether, when, due to a global merger between Compaq with Hewlett-Packard, the entire account was consolidated with Publicis, HP's global agency.
Despite such odds, the branch boasts of a retinue of long-standing clients including Wipro's Consumer Care business (it handles seven brands including Santoor and Wipro Baby Soft), Wrangler from Arvind Brands and UB Group's Kingfisher Strong, Kalyani Black Label and Ice Beer. Incidentally, confectionery brand Minto, which was recently acquired by ITC Foods from Candico, is also in the custodianship of FCB-Ulka, Bangalore. © 2002 agencyfaqs!First Published : August 22, 2002