NEW DELHI — Facebook has shifted its policy communications mandate in India to Avian Media following a competitive review.

The decision comes after last year's Facebook Free Basics PR debacle, when the social networking giant ended up fighting off allegations that the company was attempting to create an unfair marketplace that favoured its own products in India.

Avian replaces Perfect Relations on the account, after a pitch that is thought to have included at least two other agencies. MSLGroup will continue to handle Facebook India's consumer communications remit.

Facebook India communications head Carson Dalton confirmed the decision, noting that Avian has been working on the business since the beginning of May. Avian Media CEO Nitin Mantri also confirmed the account shift.

After failing with its Free Basics effort, Facebook has turned its attention to solving India's poor connectivity problem, launching an 'Express Wi-Fi' program that involves paid hotspots around the country.