For sprucing its image ahead of Assembly polls due in Maharashtra in October this year, the Congress-led Democratic Front government will engage advertising stalwarts for a media blitzkrieg. For the purpose, the government has set aside Rs 93 crore, which it plans to spend before the model of code of conduct comes into force around August.
Having lost to the BJP in the media war during the Lok Sabha polls, Chief Minister, Prithviraj Chavan has taken it upon himself to finalise the advertising agency and decide the agenda for the media campaign. At least eight ad agencies have made presentations in this regard before him so far, reliable sources said. These included global public relations giants Hill+Knowlton Stratagies, MSLGroup and Perfect Relations.
With BJP winning hands down in the digital marketing space during the LS polls, sources said Chavan was keen that the government was “adequately promoted even on the digital space”. The CM has also invited reputable digital marketing firm, Digital Quotient, to present its ideas on how to promote his government.
In his budget presented on June 5, Deputy Chief Minister, Ajit Pawar had set aside Rs 93 crore for the publicity campaign. “It has been decided to provide wide publicity of the schemes implemented by the government of Maharashtra for benefits and awareness of common people. This campaign would be done through advertisement in leading newspapers, electronic media, state transport, and BEST buses, trains, erection of hoardings,” the budget document said.
Meanwhile, the Congress is also engaging separately with PR agencies for its own election campaign. State Congress chief, Manikrao Thakre conceded that the party lost out to BJP in media war during LS polls and that it has plans to make amends this time.
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“Presentations made by agencies are being reviewed,” Thakre said, while refusing to reveal names of the agencies under consideration. He said the party’s Assembly campaign would also highlight the Modi government’s failure to deliver on poll promises, including reining in inflation, after coming to power.