At a time when the government and PSU organisations have started responding to the needs of competitive market through aggressive advertising, the major pie of this Rs 1000-crore ad budget seems to have fallen in the kitty of medium agencies.
An industry expert points out that when it comes to PSU or government advertising, it is the medium players that tend to bag the majority of small campaigns. The number of big campaigns this case, unlike corporate organizations, happens to be less.
Says Ex-CMD, BSNL, Pirthipal Singh: “While deciding on the agency for an ad campaign, the corporation does not take size into consideration. Till date most of our requirements have been fulfilled by medium agencies which seem to deliver work at short notice.”
A senior official from GAIL, on conditions of anonymity, points out that their advertising works primarily through mid-cap ad agencies. “The approach towards the campaign adopted by them is simple and delivery is spontaneous even in case of short deadlines,” the official says.
On one hand, where the client seemed to have found medium agencies as a favourable option, big agencies are also feeling the heat of their presence.
“The government and PSU segments have recently woken up and realised the potential of advertising. Medium agencies seem to have taken a lead in addressing their needs. However, now even bigger players like us are in the fray to bag big orders from such organisations,” says Ashutosh Khanna, VP, Grey Worldwide.
Subrato Pradhan, VP, JWT, points out that medium agencies bag PSU orders of much smaller volume as compared to the bigger ones. The cake is undoubtedly being shared by greater number of players right now, he says.
Sanjiv Kumar, GM, Operations, Span Communications, a medium-sized Delhi-based company with an annual turnover of Rs 25 crore, says government and PSU organisations are their biggest clients. The company has names like IOC and Income Tax on its roll. The services delivered by us are at par with bigger ones and our simple approach towards campaign gets good business to the clients. With more and more PSUs becoming advertising savvy the agency targets an increase of over 35 per cent in its business, he said.
Aarti Bhatti, Director, Client Servicing, Air Ads Ltd, an agency with an annual turnover of Rs 42 crore, points out that they have PSUs like BSNL, MTNL, and International Tractors on their roll. The ability to deliver work on an extremely short notice and a thorough understanding of the psyche of government clients helped them gain mileage over biggies in this domain. An increase of over 50 per cent is anticipated in business with the increasing number of government organisations in their kitty, Bhatti said.