slashes Pantene prices
Procter & Gamble (P&G) India has slashed the price
of its Pantene shampoo by 16 per cent. With this cut,
a 100 ml pack will now cost Rs 51, while a 200 ml pack
will come for Rs 98. P&G also launched Pantene hair
fall control, which claims to reduce hair fall owing to
breakage by up to 50 per cent within two months of use.
Pantene's price cut seems to be a direct response to rival
Hindustan Lever slashing prices of its Sunsilk and Clinic
shampoos by 50 per cent. Sunsilk also has a variant, which
highlights the benefit of reduced hair fall due to breakage.
P&G's other brands Head & Shoulders and
Rejoice, have not seen any price reduction.
group to launch new TV channels
Bennett Coleman and Co Ltd, publishers of the well-known
Times of India group of publications is planning
to enter the television business with three channels,
which include an entertainment channel, a religious-cum-spiritual
channel and a business news channel. The entertainment
channel is likely to go on air first.
Media industry sources say the entertainment channel is
expected to be titled Zoom and will focus on events, music,
fashion and lifestyle. The company will finalise the details
in the next two to three weeks and the first channel is
expected to go live sometime around July.
The last to be launched will be the business news channel
and it is not yet clear whether Bennett Coleman will have
an international tie-up for it.
Planet M to expand
Music retail chain, Planet M, plans to open 30 more outlets
in the next six to eight months. The chain currently has
48 stores. A majority of the new stores will be what the
organisation calls 'satellites' or shop-in-shops.
According to the company, Planet M has been doing well
despite a depressed music industry with prices of cassettes,
CDs and DVDs falling, since the store has been compensated
by an increase in sales volumes.
Mutual funds turn to branding
Mutual funds are reinventing themselves. The main reason
is that most funds have achieved extremely low penetration
despite achieving record growth in the past one year.
Statistically, only about one per cent of household investors
look at mutual funds as an investment option. These funds
feel it is time to broadbase their communication with
the public. Thus many of them are getting into serious
In the last one year, the marketing spend by mutual funds
has grown by more than 30 per cent per fund house and
the industry spent more than Rs 175 crore in 2003-04 a
rise from the Rs 135 crore spent the previous year.
give news channels a reprieve
News channels have got a reprieve from having to declare
a new equity structure due to the forthcoming elections.
The last date for news channels to declare an altered
equity structure as per the government's new guidelines
was April 1. Even though a substantial number of news
channels have failed to do so, they have been allowed
to carry on operations till a new government takes over.
News channels are not allowed to give a MNC partner more
than 26 per cent equity holding as per revised guidelines
issued by the government last year.
Sources in the ministry say any decision on this matter
could acquire a political hue, so it is better to defer
the decision till the elections are over.
News, CNBC TV 18 as well as listed companies like Aaj
Tak have applied to the government for infusing foreign
institutional investment into the company and a number
of smaller companies like Sab TV, Jain TV and some regional
channels have applied for permission to uplink.
& Waz become a brand
The Shaz & Waz Show of Ravi Shastri (Shaz) and Wasim
Akram (Waz), on the ESPN Star Sports channel during the
Indian cricket team's tour of Australia in January this
year, has become so popular that the channel and the cricketers
are drawing up plans to come out with Shaz & Waz merchandise.
Consumers may soon get Shaz &Waz sports accessories.
While the channel is cagey about divulging details, Shastri
and Akram feel they have struck a chord with the audience
for ESPN Star Sports to take the merchandising gamble.
Future possibilities also include the two former cricketers
coming together in commercials as Shaz & Waz while
ESPN Star Sports has decided to make Shaz & Waz a
regular feature of cricket coverage on its sports channels.
Rediffusion finds Close-Up ad plagiarized
Late last year, Rediffusion DYR ran a campaign for Colgate
Dental Cream, which said that a perfect figure had to
be complemented by a perfect set of 32 teeth. The figures
ran horizontally 36-24-36-32. The ad was inserted in women's
magazines Femina, catering to a select audience.
Last month Ogilvy & Mather (O&M) ran an ad for
Hindustan Lever's Close-Up with a similar basic theme
a perfect set of teeth with a perfect figure, but
this time the figures ran from the bottom to the top.
This ad appeared in the Mumbai edition of the Asian
Though the O&M claims that its pure coincidence Rediffusion,
the agency that came out with the concept first, says
it will be unable to run its own ad now since it would
seem like a copy. Rediffussion is planning to move ASCI
(Advertising Standards Council of India), the apex body
for advertising professionals while O&M says it would
reply appropriately to ASCI.
ITC to sell LPG in its e-choupals
ITC is entering into a tie up with Bharat Petroleum Corporation
Ltd (BPCL) to sell cooking gas through its e-choupal
network in Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.
officials said the company is expanding its product range
available on the e-choupal network and liquefied
petroleum gas (LPG) will now be included.
As the urban market gets saturated the rural market is
becoming the new battleground for LPG players and BPCL
is using the tie-up to expand its rural reach.
LPG sales, dominated by the public sector, grew by 11
per cent this fiscal, with the rural market contributing
significantly to new connections. BPCL's sales, however,
grew by 15 per cent in 2003-04. The company has 25.6 per
cent market share in the segment.
in new Orange Fresh variant
Hindustan Lever's toilet soap brand Liril is changing
colours yet again from lime green to orange
with a new offering, Liril Orange Fresh on its way.
The price however remains unchanged at Rs 16 for a 75
In April 2002, Liril changed its colour for the first
time from lime green to Icy Cool Mint variant containing
Market observers say, Liril's market shares have been
on the decline
for a while and HLL has been trying to revive the brand
with new variants. With the orange fresh variant, HLL
expects to open up a new segment under the 'freshness'
Compiled by Mohini Bhatnagar
also see : List
of reports on marketing review