Aditya Chatterjee

Saatchi & Saatchi wins Reliance IndiaMobile's pre-paid and post-paid biz

Reliance Infocomm will decide which businesses will now go to Ambience Publicis and Mudra

Saatchi & Saatchi has won Reliance IndiaMobile's pre-paid and post-paid businesses. Kaushik Roy, marketing head of Reliance IndiaMobile, has confirmed the development.

According to informed sources, about two months back, there was an agency pitch for the Rs 80 crore Reliance IndiaMobile (RIM ) advertisement account. The incumbent agency was Mudra.

After the initial rounds of presentation, three agencies - Saatchi & Saatchi, Ambience Publicis and Mudra - were short-listed. While Saatchi & Saatchi has won the pre-paid and post-paid businesses, Reliance Infocomm - the holding company of the Reliance IndiaMobile brand - will decide which businesses will now go to Ambience Publicis and Mudra.

Roy said the company was yet to decide how the businesses would be distributed among the agencies. "But yes, there will be campaigns on the corporate brand, and other businesses such as broadband, webworld, PCO etc. These businesses will be distributed between Ambience Publicis and Mudra," he added.

Earlier media reports had suggested that the size of the overall business would grow to Rs 120 crore this year, with Reliance rolling out more services products (pre-paid services, for example, was a recent innovation) and extending its geographical reach.

Roy, however, declined to clarify on this. "The above-the-line part or the media campaign is going to be around Rs 80 crore. Actually, it's difficult to hazard a guess as the business is growing fast. The actual campaign size could be very different."

He indicated that much of the Rs 80 crore spread would go in the pre-paid and post-paid campaigns. The first campaign is expected to come out in December 2004.

What's significant is the fact that this is probably for the first time when Mudra Communications, a top advertising agency owned by the promoters of the Reliance group, will not be exclusively handling a Reliance group advertising campaign, and be content with a part of the business.

Roy said, he did not agree with the suggestion that Mudra has been rejected by Reliance IndiaMobile. "We continue to share close ties with Mudra, and these are very strong ties. We will be coming up with many other new initiatives and Mudra may be the agency to bag those. Actually, we had put Mudra's earlier campaigns under review and after the agency pitch, it was felt that in this particular case, Saatchi & Saatchi had put in a better job. This is how the incumbent lost out," Roy explained.

Other agencies in the fray for the overall RIM business apparently included Grey India and Bates India.

© 2004 agencyfaqs!

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