Cong hires another agency to plan campaign

Four months after Crayons bagged the contract to chalk out the campaign strategy of the Congress for the next Lok Sabha elections

Written by D K Singh | New Delhi | Published: January 19, 2009 12:28 am

Four months after Crayons bagged the contract to chalk out the campaign strategy of the Congress for the next Lok Sabha elections,the ruling party is thinking of hiring another — and maybe a third— advertising agency for the coveted job that entails an estimated expenditure of Rs 150 crore.

JWT and Percept Holdings are set to share the account with Crayons,said sources.

It was in last October that Crayons had beaten JWT to bag the contract. Both had been shortlisted from a list of eight agencies,including Rediffusion,Percept Holdings,Madison,and Mudra,which had approached the party.

The JWT is back in contention now and was among three advertising agencies,which,last Saturday,made presentations before the AICC Publicity Committee,said party sources.

“We had to think of dividing work because the agency we had chosen did not rise to the occasion in the recent Assembly elections,” a committee member told The Indian Express. There was no response from the Crayons despite repeated attempts to contact it.

Congress leaders also attributed the decision to hire more than one agency to the realisation in the party about the need to use different mediums of communication for which expertise of different agencies will be required.

“One thing is sure that we will have more than one agency conceptualising and executing our campaign,” said a senior party leader.

Congress sources,however,said that the committee decided to look at other agencies as the Crayons was perceived to be close to the BJP. The agency was involved in the BJP’s successful campaign in the 2003 Assembly elections in Rajasthan as also in the party’s India Shining campaign in the last parliamentary election. It has also worked for the Samajwadi Party and SAD on different occasions.

Although last October the Congress had declared the selection of Crayons to prepare its campaign strategy for the Lok Sabha elections,the party dithered over signing a contract with the agency. Crayons was,however,involved in the Congress campaign in the recent Assembly elections in six states. In some states like Delhi though,it had to share the account with the JWT as decided by the state unit.

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