The Reliance Group, it is learnt, had been talking to a few agencies for handing over the advertising mandate of the Reliance Jio brand. What appears to have swung the verdict in McCann's favour is the fact that it has the bandwidth to handle a massive mandate such as Jio besides the credentials that Joshi brings to the table as a noted adman and lyricist. Joshi was also given the Padma Shri by the Indian government earlier this year.
Apart from this, most of the top ad agencies in the country have some or the other telecom account with them. This, sources say, has also been critical in swinging the verdict in McCann's favour. The agency currently has no telecom business in its portfolio following the exit of Aircel three months ago. The advertising duties of Aircel are handled by DDB Mudra. Some of the other telecom-ad-agency alignments are as follows: JWT and Taproot Dentsu share Airtel, the country's largest telecom player by revenue. Ogilvy & Mather, led by Piyush Pandey, executive chairman & creative director, South Asia, does the advertising for Vodafone, the country's second-largest telecom player. Lowe Lintas & Partners handles Idea, the third-largest telecom player in India. The agency partners of the fourth and fifth telecom players, Reliance Communications and Tata Teleservices, include Grey and Contract, respectively.
Value-added services pitch underway
Even as the Reliance Group is stitching up its agency partner that will manage its flagship Jio brand, it is learnt that the conglomerate is calling for a separate pitch for value-added services under 4G. Mostly small and independent agencies have been called for this pitch, which is slated for the end of this week.
The mandate here for agencies pitching will be to present how they will push services under 4G, or fourth-generation mobile telecommunications. The Reliance group is expected to launch 4G smartphones at a price lower than Rs 4,000 a unit and could also have voice and data services for as low as Rs 300-500 a month.