TOI shortlists three agencies for news channel pitch

By , agencyfaqs! | In | July 21, 2004
While company officials refuse to spell out the size of the business, indications are that the amount is significant

The Times of India group is set to launch its news channel in another eight-ten months, and its first priority on hand is to identify the right advertising agency, which can give the channel the & #BANNER1 & # required creative and strategic push.

The company has shortlisted three advertising agencies - Leo Burnett India, Lowe and JWT - who will make pitch presentations this week, informs Partho Dasgupta, vice-president and business head - news channel.

The brief, he says, is a short one, with the agencies called in to provide strategic inputs on the market. "It is not a creative brief, but the agency selected will eventually be involved in the advertising for the channel."

Apart from the track record of the agencies, what also found favour with the group, says Dasgupta, was the fact that the entities did not handle rival channel accounts and were full-service in nature. "We were on the lookout for agencies, who could handle the entire gamut of operations from planning to execution."

Incidentally, ad agency Lemon (promoted by ad man Ravi Deshpande and EuroRSCG) is handling the advertising of Zoom, the premium, non-fiction lifestyle and entertainment channel from the Times of India group, which is slated for launch around August-September this year.

The spiritual channel from the group tentatively called Ananda will be rolled out in the last quarter of the year, while the news channel will go on air next year. On the cards is also a music channel, though plans have yet to be firmed up, inform industry sources.

With regard to the news channel, what is unclear is whether it will be an all-out business news channel or a regular news channel with business and sports components. Dasgupta declines to comment on the programming mix, but does indicate that the channel will be predominantly programmed in English. "We will play to our strengths, one of which includes a slightly urban skew. However, the pitch that we have called should also give us more insights. So that should help us."

The outcome of the pitch will be announced in a few weeks from now. Watch this space. © 2004 agencyfaqs!

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