Ad Agencies See Turnaround In Fortunes, Plan Expansion

Mumbai: | Updated: Apr 25 2002, 05:30am hrs
Leading Indian advertising agencies Lowe (formerly known as Lowe Lintas), RK SwamyBBDO Advertising and RMG David are expanding their operations to handle the influx of new accounts. To meet the tactical needs of brands, these agencies are now setting up offices in key metros across the nation.

For instance, the Rs 1,000-crore Lowe, as part of its expansion plans has set up an office in Hyderabad recently. Informs Mr Prem Mehta, vice- chairman and managing director, Lowe: “The city shows tremendous potential and we are confident that it will lay its rightful claim on the advertising map of southern India soon.”

According to Mr Mehta, Lowe has bagged new business worth Rs 60 crore in the last three months. “These gains have come from all our offices, across the country. In addition, all our diversified divisions have also signed up new clients, an affirmation that integrated communications is the way to go”.

The new wins include British Gas Broadband, SBI Mutual, Radio Midday, ITDC, Caltex Spic and Luxol Silk and Rangoli from Berger Paints among others. The Indian Coffee Board, Annapurna Atta, J&J and Tata Infotech have recently signed on Lowe Personal, Lowe’s direct marketing and interactive wing.

Yet another leading ad agency, RK Swamy BBDO Advertising, with capitalised billings of Rs 300 crore has recently bagged the coveted advertising account of State Bank of India (SBI) amidst stiff competition. Says Mr Surojoy Banerjee, executive vice-president (Mumbai), RK Swamy BBDO: “It’s a very prestigious win for us as 20 ad agencies pitched for the same account. Prior to this account win, we won the Raymond Textiles ad account. These two accounts add Rs 35 crore to our current billings.”

To handle new business wins, RK Swamy BBDO is now beefing up its operations and infrastructure, says Mr Banerjee. “We are currently inducting professionals to handle our new business wins. For additional space, we are looking for new premises too. Also, we are relocating people from other parts of the country to Mumbai”. In addition, the agency is also beefing up its ‘Special Strategy Group’ to design a communication strategy for its new clients.

Meanwhile, WPP’s RMG David, the agency, which currently operates out of Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Bangalore, is also planning to open a Calcutta office in the near future. Says Mr Rajiv Agarwal, country manager, RMG David: “Our agency has picked up some exciting new assignments all over the country in the past two months. All these wins would amount to an annualised, capitalised billing of Rs 20 crore.”

RMG David’s new account wins include Daawat Basmati Rice (Delhi), Cuticura Talc and Classic Polo t-shirts (Chennai), a project on Scullers from Indus League (Bangalore), Radio City FM, Oberoi Constructions and Classic Stripe (Mumbai)