Alokananda Chakraborty

Contract, McCann, St Luke's to slug it out for Asian Paints

In a couple of weeks, the shortlisted agencies would be making creative and strategy presentations, based on specific briefs

In the wake of a series of agency presentations that occurred towards the end of December 2002, Asian Paints has shortlisted three agencies to make a final pitch for one part of its advertising account. The shortlisted agencies are Contract Advertising, McCann-Erickson India and new-kid-on-the-block St Luke's. The agencies that would be missing the action are Mudra Communications, Leo Burnett India and chlorophyll, which participated in the first round.

agencyfaqs! has learnt that in a couple of weeks, the shortlisted agencies would be making creative and strategy presentations, based on specific briefs. agencyfaqs! has also understood that the first round consisted of credentials presentations alone. The exact nature of the business that is up for grabs will become clear over the next few days, although it is widely believed that the Tractor, Utsav and the quasi-defunct Royale (or a similar product under a new brand name) brands form the core of the pitch. For the record, the paint major has already clarified that a significant part of its business - including the communication for umbrella brand Asian Paints - will continue to be with O&M India.

What this essentially means is that Asian Paints is looking at a two-agency setup, something that the company had in place not long ago. In fact, it was less than two years ago - in February 2001, to be exact - that the company consolidated its businesses with O&M, by moving Tractor and Royale out of Contract.

Whatever be the reasons for Asian Paints to revert to the two-agency mode, Contract, McCann and St Luke's aren't complaining. After all, each one has a point to make by winning the business. For Contract, nothing would be more welcome than regaining lost brands (such as Tractor) and a lost client. St Luke's can do with a prestigious win such as this to silence all the doubting-Toms in the industry. While McCann would love to press home the advantage of having Govind Pandey and Prasoon Joshi (both have worked on Asian Paints during their tenure at O&M) in its ranks, and thereby, stand up to O&M.

Sure promises to be a pitched battle ahead…© 2003 agencyfaqs!

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