Anindita Sarkar
Advertising

OLX.in to part ways with Saatchi; pitch in the pipeline

As of now, ITSA handles the brand's creative mandate on a project basis.

OLX.in, the free online classifieds website, is soon to go up on the pitch market.

Highly placed industry sources have confirmed the news to afaqs!. It is learnt that the company's contract with Saatchi will end next month, after which a creative pitch in Delhi is in the pipeline. In fact, a few agencies are already in conversation with the brand authorities, inform sources.

OLX.in to part ways with Saatchi; pitch in the pipeline
As of now, ITSA handles the brand's creative duties on a project basis.

It may be noted that in the recent past, several senior hands have quit Saatchi. Last month, the agency lost Nisha Singhania, general manager, Saatchi & Saatchi Mumbai, who is all set to launch an agency with Ramanuj Shastry, former chief creative officer, Saatchi & Saatchi, who quit the agency in December, 2012.

February also saw the exit of Jaibeer Ahmad, vice-president, Saatchi, who moved on to Cheil Worldwide to head the agency's new business growth plan. Also, Amit Ajwani, former managing director, Saatchi & Saatchi X India (Publicis Group's global shopper marketing agency that was launched in India in 2010) moved to Cheil, where he currently serves as vice-president and India head of Cheil's new shopper marketing division.

After Shastry's exit, the agency brought in JWT's Priti Kapur as executive creative director for Saatchi Delhi. She, along with Ashutosh Karkhanis, executive creative director, Saatchi Mumbai, currently looks after the agency's overall creative product.

Sources also inform that besides OLX, a couple of Saatchi's Delhi accounts are also on their way out of the agency and are likely to be up for grabs soon. These include residential and commercial developer Wave Infratech and mattress brand Springwel.

Around three months ago, OLX.in was visible on the communication circuit through a TV campaign that attempted to translate the portal's tagline, 'Where buyers meet sellers'. The campaign targeted urban, affluent, middle and upper middle class consumers.

With its parent company in Argentina, OLX was launched in India in 2006. In 2009, OLX raised $5 million from Indian venture capital fund Nexus India Capital. OLX competes with classifieds portals such as Quikr, Sulekha and HTClassifieds. Besides, South African media group Naspers took a stake in OLX in August 2010. OLX is used in more than 90 countries and 40 languages.

In 2011, it launched its first TV campaign that resulted in 2.4 times growth in traffic for the classifieds website. Today, India is the second biggest market for OLX worldwide, after Brazil. Recently, Naspers closed down its Indian classifieds platform TradusAds.in and merged it with OLX India.