Viveat Susan Pinto

UTI Mutual Funds reviews creative business

The company is looking to appoint one or two more agencies in addition to incumbent JWT to handle its creative business

In a surprise development, UTI Mutual Funds is looking to appoint one or two more agencies in addition to incumbent JWT to handle its creative business. The move comes after only six months of the Fund appointing JWT, following a creative pitch that saw the likes of Grey, FCB-Ulka, Leo Burnett India and Lowe in the fray.

Debashish Mohanty, vice-president (marketing), UTI Mutual Funds, has confirmed the move indicating that the review is part of the company's on-going efforts to gauge performance.

The size of the creative business is Rs 35 crore and media duties are handled by Insight, which is part of Lintas Media Services.

Mohanty says that the company has not called for a pitch or a credentials presentation as such, but is essentially looking at those agencies with whom the fund has worked in the past. One agency in "consideration” is FCB-Ulka, though he declines to indicate which are the other agencies.

UTI had worked with more than half-a-dozen creative agencies prior to consolidating its creative business with JWT in June this year. These included FCB-Ulka, RKSwamy/BBDO, Adfactors, Apex, Concept Communications, Fortune and Goldmine.

The reason for moving back to the agency club model is tied to UTI's need for increasing visibility as well as pace of advertising. As of now, advertising for UTI's children's career plan is on-air (done by JWT), and the company is keen on unleashing advertising for its other products as well. Some of UTI's popular schemes are ULIP and US 95. The latter, incidentally, is set to be renamed as UTI Balanced Fund in the near future.

Industry sources indicate that UTI is keen on a corporate brand campaign apart from product-based advertising. Mohanty, however, declines to pin-point portfolio segregation at this stage saying that relevant decisions regarding the set of agencies have yet to be arrived.

According to media reports, UTI Mutual Funds' asset base has grown from Rs 20,200-crore on November 30 to Rs 20,700-crore on December 14.

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