Tata group components don’t seem to believe in solidarity, when it comes to media responsibilities. The creative and media duties of the group faced series of recent developments, where even though the creative duties were split between various agencies and media planning too was with different groups, the media buying aspect was at least consolidated with The MediaEdge for all the Tata group entities. This arrangement has been in place for over one and a half years now but recently, things have begun to change for the group.
When the group called for a media review in June 2004, for its account, which in totality is estimated in the region of over Rs 200 crore, the implication was that the group would stay united as far as media responsibilities were concerned. Madison, Starcom, GroupM and Lodestar were invited, of which Madison had withdrawn from the pitch.
However, just a day before the presentation, the pitch was postponed and going by the present state of affairs, a group media pitch seems to be a distant reality. With Tata Motors moving to different agencies and Tata Indicom, too now moving to Lodestar, the top two spenders of the group have moved out. Market vibes, in any case, indicate that Tata Tea and Titan are also planning to move out of the group, and joining them are Trent and TCS.
Expressing disappointment on the fact that a media pitch for the group was no longer in place, a senior industry official from one of the agencies in the fray says, "We have just not been told anything after the pitch was postponed. The least that could be done was that the company should have informed us of what is happening, especially after knowing the fact that the agencies had prepared hard for the pitch."
With the Wednesday developments, Lodestar would now handle the complete Rs 70-80-crore media planning and buying mandate for Tata Indicom. Remaining as a part of the Tata group’s combined media business, the account so far was with The MediaEdge. For the record, the current campaign of Tata True Paid, the pre-paid service, was also released by The MediaEdge. As per reliable sources in the group, a decision on Trent is expected soon.