Pepsico India PR Review Puts Genesis Burson-Marsteller On Alert
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Holmes Report

Pepsico India PR Review Puts Genesis Burson-Marsteller On Alert

WPP PR firm defends decade-long hold on one of the country's pivotal PR assignments.

Arun Sudhaman

Pepsico India PR Review Puts Genesis Burson-Marsteller On Alert

NEW DELHI — Pepsico is reviewing its lucrative Indian PR account, with Genesis Burson-Marsteller set to defend its hold on an assignment it has handled since 2005.

Genesis B-M is understood to be one of a number of PR firms vying for the business, following an initial round of credentials meetings held by Pepsico communications VP Poonam Kaul, who joined the company last year.

The Holmes Report understands that agencies will be asked to respond to two briefs, one focusing on brand marketing, and the other on corporate and CSR. The process raises the prospect that the overall assignment — estimated at upwards of 1 crore rupees — may be split among more than firm.

Since Kaul's arrival at Pepsico, it is further understood that the company has begun working with Cohn & Wolfe Six Degrees on a project basis. Kaul previously worked with Six Degrees when she led communications for Nokia India.

The review covers all of Pepsico's 22 brands in India, one of the company's largest global markets. Pepsico's Indian brand portfolio ranges from iconic flagship brand Pepsi to fast-growing bottled water, fruit juice and snack products.

Like all food companies, Pepsico is responding to global demand for healthier options. In India, the company is moving towards more fruit-based drinks, with this category outgrowing carbonated beverages in recent years. In addition, the company is hoping to capture more of India's traditional snacks market.

Representatives from Genesis Burson-Marsteller referred enquiries to Pepsico. Kaul had not responded to a request for comment by the time this story went live.

Separately, Pepsico recently consolidated Western European consumer PR duties with Interpublic Group PR agencies.

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