New Delhi: ITC Ltd has asked advertising agencies to pitch for the mandate to handle its account, estimated to be worth around Rs600 crore, people familiar with the development said.
The company is currently meeting media agencies in Bengaluru to review their presentations.
The company’s entire media mandate across portfolios, including packaged consumer goods (personal care and foods), stationery, incense sticks and lifestyle business is up for grabs, the people cited above said on condition of anonymity.
Madison World, which won ITC’s media business and became its AoR (agency on record) in October 2010, has been handling the company’s media duties across business segments.
It is also participating in the pitch process along with other media agencies such as WPP’s GroupM, IPG Mediabrands, French advertising conglomerate Publicis Groupe’s media arm Publicis Media and Japanese agency Dentsu India’s media firm Carat.
“The company is reviewing media agencies and it may take around a month before the final decision can be taken," said an executive from the company, who also spoke on condition of anonymity.
ITC spent Rs894 crore on advertising and sales promotion in the financial year ended 31 March 2016, according to the latest available yearly figure. It spent Rs741 crore the year before.
The Kolkata-based firm operates multiple brands across its packaged foods, personal care, stationery, lifestyle retailing and safety matches and incense sticks categories.
Its product offerings in the deodorants, soaps, shower gel and skin care categories are retailed under the Engage, Fiama Di Wills, Vivel, and Superia brands.
In the packaged foods category it has brands such as Yipee noodles, salty snack brand Bingo, Sunfeast range of biscuits and oats as well as Candyman and mint-o.
The stationery business includes brands such as Classmate, Paperkraft and Saathi while its lifestyle business has John Players and Wills Lifestyle brands.
“ITC is one of the biggest media accounts in the business. It is also an ambitious account because the company’s foray into fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) has made them a serious contender as well as a large spender in the space," said Sandeep Goyal, chairman, Mogae Media, a digital and mobile media company.
Goyal said ITC is an old-economy account, which means while it would continue to spend a large sum of money on television, it would also try hard to get into digital advertising.
“Like Unilever, ITC will spend money across both urban and rural markets and this is where the test of a media agency’s expertise comes when a company tries to penetrate in small towns," said Goyal.