Though Lodestar Universal has been one of the ‘quieter’ agencies in 2008, the year has seen the agency stack up a decent size of business across its offices. Both on the back of multi-agency pitches and global alignments, Lodestar Universal has added some big names to its client portfolio, that together add Rs 150 crore to the agency’s billing.
The Indian Oil Corporation pitch in the year saw the division of its media duties between Madison Media and Lodestar Universal, where the latter is handling the print part of the account. With ING was another big win for the agency in the year, some of the other significant wins include Welspun, Asia Pacific Breweries – the makers of Tiger Beer, Ketan Mehta’s Maya Academy, and Asus Technologies and Tata Maharashtra Ltd.
Global developments led to the addition of Sony Pictures, Nortel, Hitachi and Jack Daniels in the Lodestar Universal kitty. It may be recalled that the agency lost businesses like Intel due to the global alignment in the course of the year.
The agency’s Bangalore and Delhi offices added Fossil and Jaypee.
Shashi Sinha, CEO, Lodestar Universal, was candid in saying that even though the agency had not seen a watershed year like it did in 2005, it still had been a “decent” year. He said, “Lodestar Universal works on the January to December calendar, and this year has been a decent year for us. While we have lost some significant businesses, there is a very healthy mix of new businesses that has been added to our client roster. We are very excited with all the wins in the year, and we have been working with the respective clients to be able to do some great work on the various businesses.”
Sinha also cautioned that the first quarter of 2009 would be the testing period for the agency. “We have braced ourselves for what could be a rough January to March of 2009. Whatever impact of the economic slowdown has to be felt, would be known the most in this period and we are geared to handle that situation,” he said.
The year had also seen the agency embark on new industry wide researches such as the work done on ‘Super Influencers’.