Sumita Vaid

Publicis bags L'Oreal's Garnier & Synergie; targets Rs 140 crore in billing

Nestle’s flagship brand Maggie, part of the cosmetics range of L'Oréal, Allied Domecq and all the brands of Hewlett Packard have moved to Publicis this year

Publicis India has reason to feel upbeat about the New Year. A couple of the internationally aligned businesses it has been eagerly hunting for have pitched tents with the agency. These include Nestle's flagship brand Maggie, part of the cosmetics range of L'Oréal (the part not handled by McCann-Erickson), Allied Domecq and all the brands of Hewlett Packard (HP). The total business from these accounts would be to the tune of Rs 70-80 crore, says the agency.

The HP and L'Oréal brands have come its way in a phased manner. Starting with one brand from L'Oréal, Publicis now has the entire Garnier and Colour Naturals ranges and is looking forward to starting work on the entire Synergie range from January 2004. Again, till about a year-and-a-half ago, the agency earned barely a crore-plus of revenue from HP; today the HP revenue has gone up to Rs 4 crore.

Indeed, this year has been quite fruitful for the agency. From Rs 40-50 crore in 2001-2002, the agency is close to achieving its target of Rs 130-140 crore in 2003-2004. This new-found aggression is due to a large extent to the turnaround process the agency launched when Param Saikia joined Publicis as chief operating officer a year-and-a-half ago. Perhaps the biggest change that has come about at the agency over the past one year is its approach to advertising. "That had to change," says Saikia.

And while the streamlining of operations was taking place at Publicis in India, the worldwide disbanding of the D'Arcy network proved to be a blessing in disguise. The announcement that Ambience D'Arcy would become part of Publicis Worldwide globally came as a shot in the arm for Publicis India. "The board and the management changed; we had to find ways to work with each other. This attracted a lot of talent," says Saikia. A recent example is Sanjay Sipahimalani (Sippy), earlier creative director at Grey Worldwide, Mumbai, who has joined Publicis as executive creative director.

Publicis has been quite active in picking up accounts besides those aligned to it internationally. Recently, it won the IPR (intellectual property rights) account in a pitch against Lowe, O&M and Contract. IPR is an initiative jointly undertaken by the Business for Software Alliance, the Indian Music Industry and the Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance against piracy and counterfeit goods. A National IPR task force has been formed under the aegis of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry to implement the National Initiative Against Piracy and Counterfeiting.

Among other accounts the agency has picked up this year are Red Tape, Salora, Ozone Pharmaceuticals, National Institute of Sales, Wimco and Siemens Mobile. © 2003 agencyfaqs!

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