P&G India had called for a media review after a period of seven years. The gap was rather unusual and in a sense implied that the review was late by almost four years in this market. Following a month's break after the brief was given to the four agencies, the review procedures took place on March 3 and 4, 2008.
Mum’s the word for all involved in the pitch process, however, insiders informed that the seven-year gap was not the only unusual aspect of this review. It is learnt that MediaCom and Madison might have joined hands to pitch for the P&G business in India. No confirmations were available on this at the time of filing the report, but sources informed that this partnership, though unexpected, did appear to make a strong proposition.
India is an interesting market for P&G from an agency point of view for two reasons – this is one of few markets where any part of P&G is with a WPP-aligned company. As is known, GroupM’s MindShare handles the Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL) business, and MediaCom, too, now is a GroupM agency. Secondly, P&G is working with a local agency for buying. At present, P&G India’s media planning is split between Starcom Worldwide and MediaCom. Madison handles the media buying for the business. Carat handles the P&G business in some markets.
P&G officials have been quoted on various occasions that the review was part of a “standard procedure” for the company. For industry observers, however, this review was more than just about the realignment of duties amongst P&G’s roster agencies in India. The leadership and people involved on the business have changed significantly, at least on the planning side, for the company in the past seven years.
The review, the results of which would be known in a few weeks’ time, gives P&G a fresh shot in addressing competition in this market like Hindustan Unilever Ltd. P&G began competing in this market over four decades ago.
P&G reviews media duties after 7 years; Madison, Starcom, MediaCom, Carat in the fray