Shibani Gharat

DAVP hunts for media planning agencies

In order to optimise its spends on media, the nodal agency under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting plans to hire expertise for a period of one year.

The Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity (DAVP) intends to empanel media planning and buying agencies for a period of one year. This is the first time that the nodal agency under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India, will undertake such an initiative. The empanelment will take place in Delhi.

DAVP hunts for media planning agencies
The annual spends on the media are estimated to be over Rs 800 crore. In the last financial year (2010-11), DAVP had spent a total sum of Rs 755.57 crore on advertising, which included a mix of print, audio visual, outdoor, BTL advertising, and events.

Established in 1955, DAVP is the central agency that undertakes all the multi-media advertising and publicity for various ministries and departments of the Government of India.

Traditionally, DAVP manages the media buying function for the government. Its duties also involve helping various government departments in formulating communication strategies/media plans, and helps implement them at the grass-root level by providing multi-media support. "But, we are looking for expertise beyond that present with us," says K S Dhatwalia, additional director general, DAVP.

The scope of work for the media planning and buying agencies will be to help assist DAVP in media planning, to enhance the reach of the government-structured multimedia campaigns through effective media planning, buying and implementation. Their job will also be to assist DAVP in media buying and implementation of the multi-media campaigns. Multi media campaigns are carried out in different regions across the country to promote various government programmes and policies.

"The intent is not just to improve our media strategy, but to also bring in more transparency into the system. We have several newspapers, television channels, websites, and radio stations empanelled with us," Dhatwalia tells afaqs!.

Currently, there are 5,195 newspapers, 218 television channels, 33 websites, 222 radio stations, 209 outdoor agencies, and over 2,000 cinema screens empanelled with DAVP. "The selection of a media channel is always open to questioning, in terms of why we gave preference to a particular media publication or channel over the other. The entry of an outside entity will not just bring in transparency in media planning and buying, but will also put in place a system in the whole process, as well as help us take the right decision and make optimal use of our media spends," articulates Dhatwalia.

DAVP has already empanelled advertising agencies. Concept Communication, Span Communications, Percept/H, DENTSU Communications, Crayons, Grey India, Rediffusion-Y&R are the categories A and B empanelled agencies with DAVP.