Reckitt Benckiser India has concluded its media pitch process. The FMCG major has shifted its media planning and buying responsibilities to Zenith Optimedia, from incumbent MPG. Campaign India had reported Zenith winning the Reckitt business in early December in the 2010 Agency Report Card, although we had stated that there was no official confirmation of the same at the time.
Confirming the move, Reckitt Benckiser India's Chander Mohan Sethi said, "Reckitt Benckiser India is one of the largest buyers of media in the country. The pitch process followed a global review procedure that was locally implemented to ensure that we have the partner who is best at maximising our investments. All lead agencies were invited and post the rigorous process of evaluation through an online platform we are happy to announce Zenith as our media agency. MPG, our incumbent agency has been a trusted partner over the last 7 years and we shared a healthy working relationship with them. We thank their leadership and all members of their staff, working on our account, for all the support over the years".
The decision follows one of the most controversial media pitches in recent times. Reckitt had asked agencies taking part in the pitch to pay a participating fee. The pre-conditions to taking part in the pitch reportedly included terms like compensation deals for subsequent drops in TV ratings and payment of commissions for the first 12 to 18 months of the business. At the time the AAAI (Advertising Agency Association of India) had asked agencies to boycott the pitch, saying the terms were unnatural.