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Names of media agencies pitching for Cadbury account revealed

MUMBAI: Carat, MindShare/Maximize, Madison, Mediaedge, MediaCom, Starcom and Zenith Media! These are the seven agencies that will be saying "Kuch khaas hai hum sabhi mein" ("There is something special about all of us) as they pitch for the planning and buying business of Cadbury's which is currently under review.

As regards what the account is worth, indiantelevision.com did some number crucnhing. For the year ended 29 December 2002, the net sales of Cadbury India Limited were Rs 6846.58 million (source: www.myiris.com). Cadbury by its own admission spends anything between 10 per cent and 10.3 per cent on advertising and promotions. Therefore, it would be fair to say that the spend on advertising and promotion should be around Rs 705 million.

The media agencies have been asked to present credentials, after which two will be shortlisted (along with Carat). Following this initial exercise, a proper media brief will be given for the final pitch.

Yes, the move has been preceded by some global reconfiguration. Earlier this year, Cadbury Schweppes, London, had moved its chocolate advertising business, which analysts in the media estimate at $50 million, to Publicis Groupe's Publicis Worldwide, New York and London. It is worth nothing that in India, both Zenith Media and Starcom, which are part of the Publicis group, are in the fray for Cadbury's media business.

In India, Cadbury's Dairy Milk account is handled by O&M, a WPP group company. Currently, WPP Media's Maximize is in the reckoning for the Indian media business.

Sources say that the sudden departure of Carat Media Services' former India CEO Meenakshi Madhvani has triggered off a panic reaction amongst clients such as Asian Paints and Cadbury's. Asian Paints has already initiated the process and is in talks with two top media independents. It might be remembered that indiantelevision.com had broken the story about Madhvani's departure on 8 April 2003.

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