After a month-long pitch that saw some established names vying for its advertising business, the Subhash Chandra promoted-Essel Group has appointed FCB-Ulka, Mumbai, as the agency for the entire ZEE Network. FCB-Ulka will handle all the 14-odd channels under the ZEE/Alpha umbrella besides ZEE Education, which is also part of the ZEE Network.
In the reckoning for the estimated Rs 40-crore business were iB&W, Contract, Leo Burnett, Lowe and Rediffusion DY&R, besides FCB-Ulka. According to Ashish Kaul, vice-president, corporate brand development, Essel Group, the business was awarded to FCB-Ulka on the strength of its credentials, creative-cum-strategy presentation and experience in handling diversified groups. "ZEE Network is very large with every channel having separate operations and a separate business head," he says. "There was need to synergise external communication apart from the requirement of a strategic partner, which we felt FCB was best suited to handle."
The advertising duty of the ZEE Network brands, in the past, was scattered among a plethora of agencies including Contract and Rediffusion. With the latest move to consolidate the account, the group hopes that problems arising from coordinating with different agencies for different brands will be corrected. "Different agencies have different mindsets, and they never quite work in tandem," says Kaul. "With the appointment of one agency, this problem will be rectified," Kaul adds.
Essel Group companies whose advertising duties fall outside the purview of FCB-Ulka are Playwin, which is handled by O&M, and Water Kingdom, which is in the custodianship of Ambience Publicis.
The consolidation of the television business comes in the wake of a mammoth communication overhaul within the group, which saw the formation of a corporate brand development team in June. The driver behind this initiative is the need for "synergy", which Kaul maintains is crucial for a group such as Essel. "In the past, we've had too many spokespeople and multiple communication going out. With the formation of the corporate brand development group, we intend providing a one-point contact for all communication needs, and building the Essel brand at a broader level," he says.
Currently, the newly formed corporate brand development team is working towards a step-by-step rollout of the group's communication agenda by centralising operations in a phased manner. To begin with, it will look at ZEE TV, followed by Agrani Satellite, DTH, HITS and Siticable. "There are 16-odd brands within Essel, so the task is definitely not easy," he says.
The whole plan is being facilitated with the appointment of representatives within the group, who will act as one-point contacts for their respective companies. "We are utilising internal resources, and are very positive about this entire process," adds Kaul. © 2003 agencyfaqs!