N. Shatrujeet

Euro RSCG in BPL Mobile roster; awarded brand and MMS accounts

Cellular operator BPL Mobile has appointed Euro RSCG India to handle the creative duties for the cellular brand’s national-level theme advertising

Following a long-drawn multi-agency pitch, cellular operator BPL Mobile has appointed Euro RSCG India to handle the creative duties for the cellular brand's national-level theme advertising. Confirming the development to agencyfaqs!, Suman Srivastava, chief strategy officer, Euro RSCG India, said, "This is a really big one. Euro is now in charge of creating all pan-national brand advertising for BPL Mobile, across (cellular) circles."

agencyfaqs! has gathered that the pitch process for this particular business started approximately three-and-a-half months ago. Details of the pitch, however, are not available. And while the identities of the agencies that pitched aren't forthcoming either, unconfirmed reports indicate that BPL Mobile's roster agencies (McCann-Erickson India, Grey Worldwide and TBWAAnthem) and Saatchi & Saatchi were also in contention.

Interestingly, this is the second big-league agency selection made by BPL Mobile this year. It may be recalled that some three months ago, the company had awarded Anthem with the advertising responsibilities for the cellular circles of Maharashtra and Goa (the agency had been servicing the Mumbai circle since December 2001). Also of interest is the fact that, with Euro's appointment, BPL Mobile has grown the number of national-level agencies in its roster to four (Grey and McCann being the other two). However, of late, most of the advertising for BPL Mobile has come out of Anthem, a fact that BPL insiders corroborate. And no one's really sure of how Grey and McCann fit into the scheme of things.

These, of course, are none of Euro RSCG's concerns - the agency is currently in the middle of work on the account. In fact, the agency is also handling the advertising for the brand's MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service), which BPL Mobile has just launched in Mumbai. "Looking at it, we were first awarded the brand advertising business, but with MMS, we have started work in the Mumbai circle too. And who know… more could follow," Srivastava smiles hopefully. For the record, Euro's first ad announcing MMS ran in yesterday's Mumbai edition of The Times of India.

Returning to the brand advertising part of BPL Mobile's business, as mentioned earlier, work on the account is underway. "The creatives have been approved, and should be out in the media soon," says Srivastava, without attaching any timeframe. He doesn't reveal anything about the nature of the communication, nor is he willing to talk about expected spends.

However, a rough estimate based on past spends suggests that the agency could be looking at billing in the vicinity of Rs 10-12 crore. Add to that heightened competition from rivals such as Orange (or Hutch) and Airtel, and the prospect of even more advertising (and billing) increases. For that matter, competition is what has driven BPL Mobile to find itself an agency to create pan-Indian brand advertising. Hutch, Airtel and Idea Cellular are already in ‘branding overdrive', and BPL Mobile cannot afford to hang back for long.

For Euro RSCG, these are certainly good times - BPL Mobile has come close on the heels of a few other wins, across offices. The agency's Mumbai office picked up the account of SBI Mutual Fund some two months ago (the account moved from Lowe), following an eight-agency pitch. Chennai has been hyperactive too, winning accounts like Sumeet (mixer-grinders), Hatsun Agro (branded milk) and Marshall's (the upcoming retail supermarket chain). While the agency's Delhi office has won Special Appointment, a whiskey brand from the Radico Khaitan stable. "Yes, we've been pretty aggressive of late," says Srivastava happily, adding, "I'm pleased that aggression is paying off." © 2002 agencyfaqs!

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