N. Shatrujeet

rmg david adds Rs 20-crore business across centres

rmg david has picked up seven new advertising businesses, including those of Radio City FM, Daawat Basmati Rice and a new hair oil brand from Dey’s Medical

These are ‘happening' times at WPP-group agency rmg david.

While on the one hand the outfit has won a Finalist nomination at the One Show 2002, on the other, the agency has picked up a whole bunch of new businesses, across offices, over the past month or so. The new wins for rmg include: Daawat Basmati Rice (in Delhi); Radio City FM, Oberoi Constructions and Classic Stripes (all Mumbai); a new hair oil brand from Dey's Medical (Kolkata); Classic Polo T-shirts and additional business from Cuticura (Chennai); and a project on Indus League's garment brand Scullers (Bangalore).

"It's been a busy time for us here," admits Rajiv Agarwal, country manager, rmg david, with a satisfied smile. "Yes, we're a young and tiny agency still very much in the consolidation stage, but it's been pretty good going for us these last two months. These exciting new assignments having given us a growth of Rs 20 crore in annualized, capitalized billing. And it is most gratifying that the wins are from all over the country."

Agarwal is also pleased with the manner in which the businesses have come into rmg's books. "We have won these businesses either through one-on-one presentations or multi-agency pitches. And there are people (clients) who have met us in the past, taken their business elsewhere, but have now come back to us."

Daawat, in Delhi, is one of the accounts that came rmg's way following a multi-agency pitch. The identity of the other agencies in the fray, however, it is not clear. "It's a Rs 250-crore company, which, like its rival brands Kohinoor and Lal Qila, was basically into the export of basmati rice," reveals Agarwal. "Daawat is as big a brand as Kohinoor, but so far, Kohinoor has been a better-promoted brand (that account is currently with Crayons). We plan to correct that." Incidentally, the Daawat account has been with agencies such as Contract Advertising and Maadhyam, in the past.

Radio City, the FM channel of News Television, is another high-profile win in Mumbai. The account was previously with Bates India - and before that, Leo Burnett. "Burnett launched Radio City in Bangalore, while Bates handled the Lucknow launch," Agarwal informs. "Now the entire account is with us, and the Mumbai launch is impending." Agarwal is also looking forward to working with Oberoi Constructions - "a client who has never advertised before" - and Classic Stripes, one of the largest manufacturers of automobile ‘stripe stickers' in the world.

The agency's Chennai office has added incremental business from Cuticura, on the back of the work done on the brand so far. "We had won the Cuticura Lavender business earlier," Agarwal points out. "They were so happy with our work on Lavender that they have moved the mother business (Cuticura Talc) too to us." Chennai has also wrested the Classic Polo account from the city-based Fountainhead Communications. Classic Polo, a casual-wear brand from the Tirupur-based Rs 220-crore Royal Classic Group - which essentially exports garments to badge brands such as Tommy Hilfiger and Walmart - has recently entered the domestic market.

Agarwal doesn't reveal much about the Scullers ‘project' in Bangalore. And he doesn't fall for the bait when asked if this is a foot in the door at Indus League. "I wouldn't want to read anything into it," is all he ventures. For the record, the advertising accounts of both Scullers and Indigo Nation (the other Indus League garment brands) are with Saatchi & Saatchi.

Saatchi need not feel too threatened by rmg - at least for now - but one agency that can exercise some caution is McCann-Erickson. McCann's Kolkata office handles Dey's Medical's flagship hair oil brand Keo Karpin, and rmg has made its intentions clear by picking up Dey's soon-to-be-launched hair oil brand. Details on this brand too are not forthcoming, other than the fact that a lot of the work is already in commission. And that rmg is in the process of setting up an office in Kolkata to service the account.

"In this day and age, we are one of the few agencies going to Kolkata," Agarwal guffaws. "The office should open very soon because Dey's is up and running." Of course, he does not expect the Kolkata office to survive on this business alone. "We believe there is a reasonable amount of business in the city," he says. "Plus there are many Dey's brands." Like we said, McCann is forewarned.

On the flip side, Benetton recently moved its business out of rmg's Delhi office to FCB-Ulka. Asked about this, Agarwal replied, "Benetton moved because they received an international diktat that no more creative work was to be produced for Benetton from India. So it was basically about releasing ads in the local media." Interestingly, although the Benetton account has moved from rmg, some of the work created by the agency for Benetton is still winning at various creative awards.

For instance, the impossibly funny ‘rang barse' radio spot for the brand fetched rmg a gold at this year's Abby Awards. And now, a hoarding innovation for Benetton has got the agency a Finalist nomination at the OBIE Awards - the outdoor equivalent of Cannes. This innovation consists of two hoardings. The first is a regular-sized one with the message: ‘Benetton fall winter collection. Now in stores.' The second is a much smaller hoarding, in front of and to the right of the bigger one. It reads: ‘Benetton fall winter collection for kids. Now in stores.'

"As a creative idea it was simple and relevant," says Josy Paul, chief creative officer, rmg david. "And as an executional idea, it was just great. I am happy that we have contributed significantly to the Benetton brand in the two categories (radio and outdoor) where local creativity was possible. And the OBIE nomination is the icing."

Like we said, these are ‘happening' times at rmg. © 2002 agencyfaqs!