Tata Group calls off media shootout

MUMBAI: The Tata Group's US$40 million account review of its media operations has reportedly been shelved.

The pitch was initially scheduled for June, and included incumbent The Media Edge, Starcom Worldwide, Group M and FCB's media arm Lodestar. However, sources have disclosed that it was postponed one day prior to pitching and believe that it will now not take place.

The media buying arm of Rediffusion DY&R has, reportedly, struggled with the massive scale of India's second-largest media account since consolidation began in late 2001. This, together with the arrival at Tata of Atul Agarwal, is believed to have sparked the account review. "Essentially they didn't have anyone representing media until Atul Agarwal arrived from Hindustan Lever," said another senior media source. "They didn't move fast enough - if it doesn't happen quickly then it leaves a gap for people (at Tata) to ask questions.

"They could eventually disband the current AOR, to go back to a scenario where media is handled along the same lines as creative," added the source.

"Traditionally, they've always been a very decentralised company - it wouldn't surprise me if that happened."

The Media Edge declined to comment on the account review.

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