In a significant move, the Delhi-based Advertising Agencies Guild (AAG) - a consortium of 29 mid-sized advertising agencies in Delhi - has chosen Carat to handle all the media duties of its participant agencies. In other words, Carat will plan and buy media for the combined client strength of AAG. This development is significant as Carat expects to handle business "that has the potential of being as big as Rs 400 crore", say company sources.
Talking to agencyfaqs!, Sulina Menon, CEO, Carat, said, "While there were other media agencies in the reckoning besides us, we had an edge over them by virtue of being a media independent."
In fact, the process of evaluation went on for seven to eight months. During this period, AAG spoke to "almost all the media buying agencies in the country". "Almost all media agencies are either owned or are part of a network that has creative agencies. Carat was the only truly independent media buying agency in the country. Internationally too, Carat does not have any alliance with a creative agency or an outfit," explains Kunal Lalani, president, AAG, and managing director, Crayons Advertising. Choosing a media independent over others was necessary as AAG needed to be assured that "all the information about the creative business would be safe and secure" with the media partner.
But is Carat equipped to handle such a large business with its current resources and manpower? Says Menon, "We are currently auditing the needs of various agencies, but yes, we do need a lot more hands now to service such a large business." Adds Lalani, "I am sure Carat will scale up its resources when the need is felt."
Lalani also pointed out that Carat is not going to function like an AOR in the traditional sense. "Carat would offer its media services to any of the agencies of AAG as and when required. It will go with the creative agency to a pitch, for client meetings etc. And the creative agency will pay Carat for its services, not AGG or the client." However, Lalani refrained from talking about the broad lines along which the revenue sharing arrangement between the concerned creative agency and Carat would be worked out.
For the record, AAG was formed in October, 2002, with 20 Delhi-based small- and medium-sized agencies. Now the number has grown to 29 agencies, among which are Crayons Advertising, Capital Advertising, Crescent Communications, Centum Advertising, Chiranjan Advertising, Arms Communications, Pamm Advertising, Cencer Advertising, Ushak Kaal Communications, Akshara Advertising, Themes Communications, Rana Bharat Marketing & Advertising, Critique Communication, Headstart Advertising, Span Communications, Graphisads, Indus Union, Caps, Hakuhodo Percept, Foresight, Fusion, Rashtriya Advertising Agency, Glaze Ads, Quantum Communications and Young Advertising. Dhar & Hoon is expected to be a member soon. While the president of AAG is Kunal Lalani GC Khatter is secretary general. © 2003 agencyfaqs!