Tata says welcome to Adfactors

16 Jan,2018

 

There are PR agencies and PR agencies and PR agencies. And then there’s Adfactors. Started in 1987 as a boutique agency by Rajesh Chaturvedi and Madan Bahal, it’s today the country’s largest public relations agency. With an employee strength of over 500 people, its turnover is in the region of Rs 180-200 crore. And that number will leapfrog by another Rs 30 crore-odd as the Tata group has signed the agency for as its India PR partner starting February 1.

 

It’s been discussed ever since Tata Sons got them onboard to handle the all-important job of putting things in order post the Cyrus Mistry episode.The contract lasted a year, and that’s when the industry was abuzz with rumours of the emergence of a deeper relationship.

 

Soon after the Radia tapes controversy, the Tatas assigned the job of its PR to Diwan Arun Nanda of Rediffusion who in turn assigned the job to Edelman, regarded as the world’s largest independent PR agency.

 

While the going was good for Rediff-Edelman, there were frequent rumours that the relationship may snap, or that some constituents of the group were free to contract other agencies. A significant indicator of this was when Starbucks moved to Golinopinion and has stayed on with the IPG agency.

 

The mandate covers strategic counsel and planning, media relations, issues and crisis management, investor relations, advocacy, and integrated campaign development for some of the Tata group’s largest companies including Tata Consultancy Services, Tata Steel, Tata Chemicals, Indian Hotels, Tata Power, Tata Global Beverages and Titan, as well as Tata Sons and Tata Trusts, across India. Note there are some group companies which are currently not part of the roster, in particular Tata Motors. Adfactors has an existing, longstanding relationship with Mahindra & Mahindra and Ashok Leyland and taking on Tata Motors would’ve been a conflict say observers.

 

In fact it’s this clearminded focus on saying a ‘No’ when there is need to that possibly gets Adfactors to stand out amongst many others. For instance, it’s a clear no-no to handle clients in the business of alcohol, tobacco and non-vegetarian foods. So, for instance, the group doesn’t handle Godrej Tyson Foods.

 

Said Pradipta Bagchi, former journalist and Group Communications Officer, Tata Group in a statement: “We are pleased to partner with Adfactors PR, India’s largest PR agency, to drive the Tata communications strategy and make the brand engaging and relevant to all our stakeholders,”.

 

Added Madan Bahal, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Adfactors PR: “The opportunity to work for an iconic institution like the Tata Group that is India’s best known and most trusted brand represents an exciting opportunity for the Adfactors family. The Tata Group is at an inflection point in terms of reinforcing its leadership and growth. We look forward to adding value to its efforts in engaging with a rapidly transforming nation.”

 

Adfactors will service the Tata mandate out of its 16 offices across the country, supported by a network of 24 support offices covering all state capitals and principal markets. A team of top-level managers with over 20 to 25 years experience headed by former journalist and banking professional Dr Pradeep Raje. Raje had also led the Tata mandate.

 

In order that Adfactors hops on to the account running, it is learnt that a former senior hand at Vaishnavi Communications, Niira Radia’s PR firm, may be brought on board so that there is greater familiarity with the account.

 

 

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