Marketing review news
29 April 2004

MRTPC rejects Nirma's plea against HLL
The Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission (MRTPC) has rejected the applications filed by Nirma Ltd against Hindustan Lever Ltd (HLL), alleging that its products had been disparaged by the latter.

Nirma contented that HLL, displaying the rear of a soap package termed it as `sadharan powder' as compared to its Wheel detergent powder.

In addition, the `three-fold cards' distributed by HLL to various retailers misled the consumers, and is prejudicial to public interest.

However the Commission did not sufficient reasons to issue an injunction against HLL as sought by Nirma.

Domino to offer late pizzas for free
Dominos Pizza India has announced a new scheme that if its pizzas are not delivered within 30 minutes of the order being placed, they will not be charged for. However, this is a 'conditions apply' offer. For one, the offer is applicable to the "first Rs 300 of the order"; and not applicable for an order of more than three pizzas.

Dominos offers this deal in many of its worldwide markets and when the company commenced operations in India it had offered this deal to its customers for a short while.

Kochi, Numaligarh Refineries focus on brand building for retail foray
Kerala-based Kochi Refineries (KRL) and Assam-based Numaligarh Refineries (NRL), have made plans to enter downstream marketing, by establishing their retail brands. Numaligarh Refineries (NRL) has made plans to open 96 outlets this year, mostly in north India while the Kerala-based KRL has drawn up a business plan for 200-300 pumps and is planning to apply to the ministry of petroleum for permission after elections.

NRL a BPCL group company, has also begun building a brand and visual identity, with a northeast flavour. The company will use BPCL's transportation facilities. The company was among the first to get permission to enter the retail business and had advertised for land last month.

Taj Hotels launch Lanka tour package
With the opening of the skies between India and Sri Lanka more and more people heading towards the island nation the Taj group has come out with a `Best of Sri Lanka Holiday package'.

The holiday package offers the guests a host of sightseeing options that include the turtle hatchery in Kosgoda, visit to a charming seaside town in the south-western coast called Ambalangoda, the home of the colourful mask carvers. Also on the itinerary are visits to the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens which are spread over 147 acres of land with an amazing variety of trees, plants and flowers, as well as to Kitulgala, the famous location where the film, The Bridge Over the River Kwai, was filmed.

Sri Lanka also offers other exotic destinations like the Sigiriya rock fortress, a world heritage site built by King Kashyapa during A.D. 477-495. Other quaint destinations are the elephant orphanage at Pinnawala, bird watching facilities around Kandalama, elephant trails and jungle resorts.

The offer includes airport transfers, accommodation in a standard room, set menu buffet breakfast and dinner, transportation by air-conditioned vehicle and sight seeing with an English-speaking guide.

Michelin Apollo launches truck, bus radials
Michelin Apollo Tyres Pvt Ltd a joint venture between the Michelin Group and Apollo Tyres Ltd (ATL), has announced the launch of a range of truck and bus radials for the Indian market.

The company would initially import the truck and bus radials from Michelin's facility in China and distribute them through the dealer network of Apollo Tyres.

The company hopes to begin manufacturing truck and bus radials in India by the first quarter of 2005 after which it would stop stop importing truck and bus radials.

The company plans to invest about $75 million in the first phase for setting up the manufacturing facility and has no plans to export tyres from the proposed manufacturing facility.

MTV, Nickelodeon in Sony's One Alliance
MTV and kids channel, Nickelodeon, have joined, The OneAlliance, bouquet, a distribution joint venture between Sony Entertainment Television (SET) and Discovery Communications.

At present, the bouquet comprises eight channels — SET, MAX, AXN, HBO, Discovery, Animal Planet, NDTV India and NDTV 24x7.

Pepsi spices up Dukes Lemonade
Pepsi is trying to pep up its lime brand, Dukes Lemonade. The commercials of Duke's Lemonade have been given a new tagline and an interactive radio commercial.

The radio commercial revolves around the new tagline takatak taajgi, and the campaign, created by J Walter Thompson, revolves around the character Bandya Shinde, based on the typical Mumbai yokel, typified from the light-hearted scrooge depicted in most Bollywood movies.

Dukes Lemonade is being communicated to consumers through a visibility drive, which includes paintings on local trains, bus shelters, street banners and point-of-sale posters, etc. Discount coupons will be distributed to consumers outside trains painted with Dukes Lemonade visuals.

Consumers can redeem the coupons at station on the same day, and have a sip of this lemon drink, according to a release from the company.

Pizza Corner to expand franchisee outlets
In order to achieve the targeted growth rate of 25 per cent in turnover this year (Rs24 crore last fiscal) Pizza Corner is planning to expand the number of franchisee outlets.

The company will open franchisee outlets in Mumbai and Kolkata. It will also open two more outlets each in Bangalore and Chennai, one more in Hyderabad and one each in six smaller cities such as Vijayawada and Visakhapatnam this year.

Currently, the company has 32 restaurants across the country of which only two were franchisee outlets. It was also planning various promotional campaigns to achieve the targeted growth.

The outlet has also come out with a number of innovatively designed contests and promotions to attract customers.

Singapore Tourism to come out with bundled packages
The Singapore Tourism Board is stepping up its promotional activities. It is clubbing tours to Singapore with Thailand, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Australia and would come out with special packages for these tours.

The Singapore Exhibition & Convention Bureau, a division of the tourism board, is on a road show promoting Singapore as a meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (MICE) destination. According to officials at the bureau India is an important market for Singapore. In the coming months there would be a number of discount offers for this market segment.

The Singapore Tourism Bureau has positioned Singapore has invested around S$15 million for the campaign.

Total aims to increase market share in India
TotalFina India Ltd (TIL), part of Total SA of France, manufacturing a wide range of automobile lubricants, plans to increase its market share in the Indian lubricants market from the existing 1.4 per cent to 3 per cent by 2006. It has targeted to achieve a growth rate of 25 per cent per annum. The company registered a turnover of Rs 240 crore last year.

The company's focus in 2004 was aimed at increasing the width and depth of distribution as well as improving the visibility of the brand.

TotalFina would be focusing on the commercial vehicle and tractor segment in the bazaar trade.

The company has registered a 25 per cent growth in sales, in volumes, during the first quarter of the current year.

Compiled by Mohini Bhatnagar

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