Glaxo Smithkline Beecham has called for a pitch for its approximately Rs 50 crore worth media account in the country. Among the agencies, which have been asked to participate in the pitch, are the incumbent MindShare, Optimum Media Solutions of Mudra and MediaCom of Grey Worldwide.
Unlike most multinational clients, Glaxo Smithkline Beecham has not opted for global media alignment. Says Ashutosh Srivatava, Managing Director, MindShare, India "GSK has just asked for an initial screening proposal from us and also media departments/ divisions of some advertising agencies. Globally, their businesses (Pharma and Nutritionals) are not aligned with any one agency across all countries. Typically in each market they work with the media specialist which is the strongest in that market, and which is also able to leverage its global network and best practices to power the brands' media investments even more." At present media buying and planning for quite a few GSK's brands in India is handled by MindShare, these include Horlicks, Boost, Eno and Acqa Fresh.
However, MediaCom handles $ 600 million AoR account of GSK in US, and is the media agency for it in quite a few other important markets. Harish Shriyan, Senior Vice President, MediaCom admits that the agency has been invited for the pitch, but refuses to divulge any details, "We have been invited for the pitch. But the details like brief and all are still to be sent. MediaCom is their partner in some countries and we would love to work with them in India."
Grey India also handles creative account for a few Glaxo Smithkline brands.
Since the merger of SmithKline Beecham and Glaxo Wellcome at the end of the year 2000, the company has been fine-tuning and realigning its creative and media arrangements across the globe. Which way it would tilt in India would be known by the year-end.