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Ad agencies in Calcutta are facing hard times

09-February-2001
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Ad agencies in Calcutta are facing hard times

Ad agencies in the City of Joy are completely rattled by the government decision to ban tobacco related advertising and sponsorship. ITC, the account which always assured golden eggs, is on the verge of slipping from their hands, putting a big question mark on their elaborate infrastructure.

The out-of-the blue announcement of the government which proposes to put a blanket ban on cigarette advertisement and sponsorships will hit Bates Kolkata the most in value terms though it’s HTA which seems to have put maximum number of people on the popular Wills family which includes Classic, Bristol and Scissors accounts.

Out of the total 90 odd employees in HTA Kolkata, some 35 work on ITC accounts at any given point of time.

Industry analysts point out that ad agencies in Kolkata did not take the syndrome of business houses turning their faces to heart because ITC with its regal headquarters in the city always came to their rescue. HTA could easily notch up business worth Rs 30-40 crore annually.

If the government really gets down to implementing its decision, Bates Kolkata would lose a large chunk of its business. The agency holds popular accounts like Gold Flake, 555, Benson & Hedges and Capstain. Apart from these, Taj Bengal, part of the ABP group and Netguru ISP are the other worthwhile clients in its kitty. It is a major setback to Bates with Rs 25 crore gone from its total capitalised billings and 40 employees still continuing on its payroll.

Things are not rosy in Lintas quarters as well. India Kings, Berkeley, Wills Sponsorships, the ITC corporate account and Wills sport will be gone and with it will disappear the annual ad revenue of about Rs 30 crore.

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