The first fallout of the Percept-Carat break-up has already come to fore. Future Group, formerly known as Pantaloon Retail, has appointed Starcom as its media AoR. The media spends of the business, which is pegged at Rs 40 crore at present, is slated to increase in 2006-07.
A senior marketing official from Pantaloon was quoted in a section of the media stating that Future Group would double its current marketing budget of Rs 100 crore to Rs 200 crore in 2006-07. Consequently, the ad spends are also slated to see a significant increase.
Officials of the Future Group refrained from commenting on the development, but industry sources have confirmed the move. Sources further informed that the development was preceded by a multi-agency pitch. However, further details on this couldn’t be ascertained at the time of filing the report. Percept H and Mudra continue to be the creative agencies for different Future Group ventures.
Retail giants have shown an inclination towards upping their media spends given the expectation of Wal-Mart and Reliance heating up the competition some more. Significant steps were seen from Pantaloons when the retail major tied up with events like Ponds Femina Miss India, signed on the likes of Bipasha Basu and Zayed Khan as its brand ambassadors and Himesh Reshammaiya for DJ&C Apparels. If industry word is anything to go by, more could be expected on this front soon.
The movement is an interesting one given that some of the biggest pitches of late have largely been multinational businesses. The likes of Future Group, growing in the manner that it has in terms of new verticals like Future Media and so on, and earmarking a sum like this for its marketing alone, is an indicator of both the retail boom in the Indian economy and the new landmarks that Indian corporates are achieving for themselves.
Future Group’s marketing mix continues to be vertical centric using both above the line and below the line significantly.
For Starcom, the year couldn’t have ended on a better note. The win comes close on the heels of Essar Retail Telecom, which it added to its kitty last month and needless to say, this is one the biggest accounts that the agency has added in recent times.