Arun Sudhaman 17 Aug 2011 // 11:00PM GMT
NEW DELHI--Microsoft has opted to consolidate its India PR activity, one of the country’s biggest comms accounts, with IPAN H&K.
The decision follows a protracted pitch, revealed by the Holmes Report, and sees the tech giant end its relationships with Genesis Burson-Marsteller and Text 100, which previously shared the business, estimated at $700,000.
The news will come as a blow to both incumbents, given the size and stature of the account. Text 100 counts a lengthy relationship with Microsoft India, most recently handling the B2B component of the business. Genesis B-M, meanwhile, won corporate/citizenship and consumer duties three years ago and had since added Microsoft’s entertainment and devices division.
A number of agencies took part in the pitch, including the two incumbents, Edelman and IPAN H&K. Microsoft India corporate comms head Meenu Handa confirmed the decision to appoint the latter firm.
“Both Text 100 and Genesis have been our very valuable partners for a long time. It was not an easy decision,” said Handa. “However, for a while we have been feeling the need to consolidate our campaigns across the business and consumer segments and to house them under one agency team. After a fairly extensive review we believe IPAN presented the best mix of resources across our campaigns including digital expertise.”
For Genesis B-M, the loss is the second major shift in as many months, after the agency lost Mahindra Group’s $500K account following an apparent difference of opinions. The firm has, however, softened these blows by recently adding Dolby Technologies, Cargill and Newby India as new retainer clients.