Alokananda Chakraborty

Hindustan Pencils puts media account under review; invites five agencies

Credentials presentations began on February 17, with a pitch presentation slated for the first week of March

Hindustan Pencils, which has popular brands Natraj and Apsara, has shortlisted five media agencies for a credentials presentation this week. The development comes close on the heels of the appointment of O&M as the creative agency last week. Media duties of Hindustan Pencils is handled by Carat, and, according to company executives, the decision to go in for a media review is tied in with its overall plan of beefing up its marketing and communication programme. "We are looking at a fresh perspective on marketing and communications, and creative and media is tied in to this objective," says Bhishma Java, marketing executive, Hindustan Pencils, who is monitoring the review process.

The shortlisted agencies include Starcom, Initiative, Mediacom, Optimum Media Solutions and incumbent Carat. The shortlist was arrived at after a thorough screening of 15 agencies based on parameters such as size, client portfolio and recommendations, says Java. The credentials presentations began on February 17, 2004, with a pitch presentation slated for the first week of March. "Around three-four agencies will be shortlisted for the pitch presentation," he says.

Hindustan Pencils, which is the largest pencil manufacturing company in India, has a turnover of approximately Rs 170 crore. Besides pencils, the company manufactures a range of stationary products including sharpeners, erasers, crayons, pastels, scales, rulers etc. The company's core target group is the school kid in the first to fourth grade, with the company proposing to use a mix of television, point of purchase and below-the-line to tap young audiences. Media and marketing spends, according to industry sources, are likely to be in the region of Rs 4-5 crore in the new financial year, though Java refuses to put a figure to the overall size of the business.

On the creative front, the company has begun briefing its agency O&M on its communication plan for the new financial year, while on media, the company is looking at superior planning and buying skills from the agencies in question. © 2004 agencyfaqs!

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