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Contract Bags Microsoft Xp Ad Account


The Microsoft Windows XP advertising business in India, has been bagged by Contract Advertising, Delhi. Estimated at approximately Rs 8 crore, the coveted account was pitched for by three more agencies besides Contract, they being Euro-RSCG, McCann-Erickson and Lowe Lintas & Partners.

Interestingly, Euro-RSCG already handles 80 per cent of the Microsoft's business in India. This includes Windows, Office XP, e-commerce, SQL and Biztalk. And its international advertising agency, McCann-Erickson, handles the advertising business of the company in almost 11 markets.

On why the account finally went to Contract, Poonam Kaul, marketing communications manager, Microsoft India, said: "It is a very subjective thing. There is no hidden truth in the matter.

It's just a project."

Apparently, Contract has also done some work for Microsoft in the past (4-5 years back), but that was not advertising. Comments Kaul: "The agency was handling the direct marketing business for Microsoft India in the past. And they presented us with some good work. And hence, we chose Contract for advertising business of Windows XP."

Ishan Raina, chief executive officer (Indian sub-continent & Middle east), Euro RSCG, told Business Standard: "It's a complex question to answer why the Windows XP business did not come to us. I guess, it is just a project, so it is okay." "Though we'd wish we had gotten it," Raina further added.

Industry sources indicate that there was pressure to move the entire Microsoft business to McCann-Erickson, with effect to the international alliance.

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First Published: Sat, September 29 2001. 00:00 IST