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After 6 years, Bharti Airtel reviews media biz; ac size pegged at Rs 350-400 cr

30-January-2010
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After 6 years, Bharti Airtel reviews media biz; ac size pegged at Rs 350-400 cr

If 2009 was about global pitches of some of the biggest advertisers, 2010 sure seems to be about Indian advertisers reviewing their relations with their media agencies. The latest to have joined in is Bharti Airtel. The telecom major has put its mammoth media business up for review and has invited leading agencies to compete for the business.

Confirming the development to exchange4media, Bharti Airtel gave the following statement on the pitch: “Bharti Airtel is one of India’s largest advertisers and partners some of the country’s most creative marketing and advertising agencies. As part of a periodic exercise, Bharti Airtel has invited agencies for a media pitch and outdoor pitch. Airtel, over the years, has repeatedly challenged business models and worked together with its partners to work on new paradigms. The current pitch will help the company renew its media model for the future and identify the right partner for that model.”

Unlike the traditional route, where the outdoor medium is pitched independently, the Airtel pitch has been called for all mediums. Sources close to the development informed that one of the key reasons for the pitch was that Bharti Airtel was contemplating unifying the traditional media and outdoor with the same agency. As is known, Madison Media is the incumbent on the business for mediums, including television, print and radio. The outdoor business was handled by GroupM. The account size is pegged in the vicinity of Rs 350-400 crore.

Of the Bharti Airtel business, the mobility business and now the digital business command a significant chunk of the spends. It is also understood that Airtel is also refreshing its approach in light of fresh competition, and in order to be on the road to its next level of growth. The media review is one of the first steps in that direction.

Our typical marketing budget is usually 10 per cent of the topline spend

There are some forces impacting the way our business works. The IT/ITeS sector has changed tremendously. Platforms like Twitter have made everyone journalists. Smartphones have made everyone a photographer. The trend that we are seeing is one of hyperdigitalization, which is causing the lines between product and services to blur. For example, <a href=http://www.exchange4media.com/company/news/amaz...

The OOH sector is among the fastest growing, globally. Brands and marketers have realized its potential and impact and begun to craft medium-specific adverts. Self-regulation is not only necessary but also essential to growth of the sector. The industry needs to exercise a certain level of this self-restraint to prove its commitment to maintaining the best standards in advertising.

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