Alokananda Chakraborty

GPI works out new agency alignment

GPI has assigned the advertising account of Cavenders to FCB-Ulka, and that of a new product to Leo Burnett

Godfrey Philips India (GPI), one of India's largest advertisers, has realigned its agency roster over a series of pitches held during the last one month. At the end of the exercise, the agency alignment stands like this: Rediffusion will continue to handle Four Square and Select; Everest will be the custodian of Red & White; FCB-Ulka will work on Cavenders and McCann-Erickson continues with Menthol. The advertising account of a new developmental brand has been assigned to Leo Burnett. All of these accounts would be handled out of the Delhi branches of the respective agencies.

Confirming the development, Nita Kapoor, director, marketing, GPI, told agencyfaqs!, "Each of the brand agencies would individually handle the media accounts of their respective brands." She added that besides handling the Menthol brand, McCann-Erickson's Delhi office would work with GPI on a planning project for the company's new brands for a specific period of time.

The whole process for the current realignment was divided into two. In the first round, the agencies on GPI's roster (Rediffusion, Everest and McCann-Erickson) were asked to make a presentation for its below-the-line activities. At the end of this round, the company decided to continue with the incumbent agencies on Four Square, Select, Red & White and Menthol and move Cavenders out of Everest.

In the second round, it was a straight strategy-cum-creative presentation between FCB-Ulka and Leo Burnett for the Cavenders brand. It was on the basis of this presentation that Cavenders was assigned to FCB-Ulka and Leo Burnett was given the new brand account.

The GPI pitch had created quite a stir among the agencies in Delhi. No wonder, given the size of GPI's advertising budget. Market estimates peg the ad spend of GPI at Rs 100 crore - clubbing all its brands and mass media and below-the-line activities together - making it the fifth largest spender in the market.

The account is also a very prestigious one with GPI - a joint venture between the Modi Group and global cigarette major Phillip Morris - being the second largest player (No 1 being ITC) in the Indian cigarette industry. GPI has a value share of 11.4 per cent in the industry and a volume share of 12.4 per cent. GPI's Cavanders has strong franchise in the rural markets, whereas Four Square and Red & White are strong in the urban markets. And Four Square has a strong market in the north and west. The company also markets international brands like Rothmans and Chesterfield. Besides these, GPI manufactures Marlboro, Philip Morris's leading international brand, which is marketed by Philip Morris India through GPI's distribution network

Sources indicate, while Leo Burnett would open its GPI account with one brand, more would follow as the company firms up its plans on the other developmental brands. Information available with agencyfaqs! also indicates that the company is working at reviving the Jaisalmer brand, which was launched in 1991, and which is all but dead now. In all probability, the brand would be handled by Rediffusion, Delhi. No confirmation on this was available from either the company or the agency. © 2002 agencyfaqs!

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