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'BSNL's massive advertising budget reports fallacious'

03-June-2002
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'BSNL's massive advertising budget reports fallacious'

The state-owned telecom utility, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. (BSNL), has been generating quite a buzz lately for its massive advertising budget. While many have reported BSNL's ad budget to run into some hundreds of crores, the actual amount to be allocated for advertising has not yet been formally decided. A prominent business weekly reported the BSNL account to be 130 crores.

Exhorts Anil Jain, Dy. Director General Marketing, "All reports on BSNL's advertising budget are fallacious. Each report quotes a different figure. We are in the process of allocating money for advertising and it would take anywhere from 10 to 15 days to reach a final budgetary figure."

As of now, there are a total of 11 advertising agencies, working for BSNL across 26 states in India, and a total of 4 agencies that are handling the corporate advertising for BSNL. Says Jain, "About 10% to15% of the budget would be allocated to corporate advertising, for which Grey Worldwide, Headstart, Subhagya and Airad have been engaged as the agencies. The balance amount would be divided between Below-the-Line and Above-the-Line activities and the proportion would depend upon the state and the timing of activity. A good proportion would also be allocated to PR."

Presently, on air is a radio jingle for BSNL's corporate advertising. Also upcoming are print ads for the same.

BSNL is in the process of making additions to its current service base. The forthcoming additions would include broadband service, voice over telephone service, cellular service and Wireless in Local Loop service. Recently, BSNL also provided free answering machine service to its subscribers in Indore, which it intends to extend to other states.

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