FCB-Ulka has retained the creative duties of durables maker Whirlpool of India. The account went up for review end of October and the pitch was held in the second half of last month. In the fray were Leo Burnett, Ambience Publicis and St Luke's, besides incumbent FCB-Ulka. The total size of the FCB-Ulka business is estimated at Rs 50 crore. For the record, the media duties continue to be serviced by FCB-Ulka's media arm Lodestar.
Incidentally, this is the second time in the last 11 months that the company had put its advertising account on the block. Rationalising the company's decision to call for a pitch twice within a year's time, Sanjeev Bhargava, vice-president, FCB-Ulka, says, "The client wanted to look at fresher perspectives. Perhaps, there was a curiosity to gauge what we were missing out on!"
In this regard, agencyfaqs! diehards might recall our report in October, Whirlpool invites four agencies to pitch for air-conditioners, microwaves (agencyfaqs!, October 23, 2003), in which we had stated the details of the pitch. To put things in perspective, the focus of the pitch was limited to air-conditioners and microwaves on which the company spends around Rs 10 crore now. This meant that the refrigerator and washing machine accounts were not under immediate threat. That is not surprising, considering the agency's work on both accounts (best recalled for the 'ice, ice baby' and 'mummy ka magic chalega kya' campaigns) has been appreciated, winning the client precious market share, and fetching the agency a bronze Effie last year. Yet, one agency executive told agencyfaqs! when we were putting together our last report that both refrigerators and washing machines could be subjected to a relook, depending on which way the pitch went.
As it turns out, the company has decided to stay with FCB-Ulka, which has handled the brand since its launch in India. © 2003 agencyfaqs!