Alokananda Chakraborty

Glaxo SmithKline Consumer Healthcare hunts for an AOR

Glaxo SmithKline’s media account is estimated at Rs 40-50 crore

Diwali goes not without leaving some good news for the media agencies in Delhi in its wake. Glaxo SmithKline Consumer Healthcare (GSKCH), the consumer products division of Glaxo SmithKline India, is looking for a media agency to consolidate its media planning and buying duties. The account is estimated at Rs 40-50 crore.

Incidentally, this is the first time that the company is looking to unify all its eight brands under the aegis of a single AOR. While company executives are unwilling to comment on this development, information available with agencyfaqs! indicates about five agencies -including Euro-RSCG, MindShare, Optimum Media Solutions (media arm of Mudra Communications), MediaCom (an independent media division of Grey Worldwide), and, in all probability, Enterprise Nexus - have been invited to pitch for the business.

As things stand now, detailed briefs on the pitch are yet to reach the agencies. "To begin with, these five agencies have been ‘sounded off' to provide details about their credentials - in terms of providing case studies citing their experience in the category. Some more may be invited at a later stage," indicates an official close to the event.

To put things in perspective, GSKCH is the market leader in the health drinks market with 70 per cent share and strong brands such as Horlicks, Boost, Maltova and Viva (Maltova and Viva were acquired by the company for about Rs 98 crore from Jagatjit Industries in February 2000). Sales of malted foods contribute about 95 per cent to the company's turnover. Other products including biscuits contribute the balance 5 per cent.

"The reason (for calling the pitch), of course, is better synergies and better buying prospects," observes a senior official in one of the agencies in the running for GSKCH. The brands that are likely to be brought under the new AOR are Horlicks (including Junior Horlicks, Mother's Horlicks and Horlicks biscuits), Boost, Viva, Maltova, Eno, Crocin, Aquafresh (toothpaste and toothbrush) and Iodex. These brands are currently under the custodianship of four agencies - JWT, Ogilvy & Mather, Grey Worldwide and Enterprise Nexus - which handle both the creative and media duties of their respective brands. It seems the creative duties will remain with the respective creative agencies.

Given the width of the product portfolio, the agencies vying for the GSKCH media account anticipate the whole process to take about a month or so. Hopefully, this time next month the company would be ready to announce the name of the agency that gets to keep the business. © 2002 agencyfaqs!