Arun Sudhaman 23 Jan 2012 // 8:31AM GMT
MSL Group has a new report (PDF) out about the Indian PR landscape, and it is well worth a read. India’s public relations market is a beguiling mix of opportunity and frustration, and the study - which launches later today - captures this dynamic well. It looks at several of the areas we have examined in the past, such as under-valued agency fees; a crippling talent shortage; and the reputation problems that afflict an industry still reeling from the dubious downfall of its biggest firm. There is a level of candour to the effort that is refreshing, such as when it takes an Assocham report to task for grossly inflating the estimated size of India’s PR market (MSL estimates the market at $140m, which matches the Holmes Report’s own assessment.) That attitude also informs the section of the report that is sure to set tongues wagging, where MSL estimates the fee income of all of its competitors. There is little surprise to its conclusion that Adfactors is the market leader, even if its estimated revenue looks a little on the low side. But its finding that MSL is the second biggest firm in the market, well ahead of the likes of Genesis Burson-Marsteller, Perfect Relations, and Edelman, is likely to spark plenty of interest. Reports of this nature are usually blighted by a heightened sense of caution, with firms afraid of offending clients or discussing their peers (to say nothing of Sarbanes-Oxley concerns). That this study shows so much less of this restraint should probably be welcomed. I wonder if MSL’s rivals will agree?