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Delhi likely to be next ad capital

September 24, 2007 08:31 IST

Mumbai is on the verge of being dislodged as the advertising capital of India. In recent times, Delhi has emerged as the hot spot, be it for new agencies setting up offices or key advertising spenders taking decisions out of the national capital.

"The advertising industry in Delhi used to be one-third the size of Mumbai five years ago. However, the advertising business in Delhi has been growing at over 30 per cent year-on-year, while the growth in Mumbai has been restricted to 10-11 per cent," says Arvind Sharma, chairman of Leo Burnett, Indian subcontinent. Delhi, in terms of advertising revenues, is now two-thirds that of Mumbai and within the next five years, Delhi will surely overtake Mumbai, with other factors like development of commercial hubs remaining the same, he adds.

At present, most big advertisers in automobiles (Maruti, Hyundai), consumer durables (LG, Samsung), beverages (Coca-Cola, PepsiCo) among others are headquartered in the North. "Communication is best done locally where a company is headquartered," Sharma said.

Even new agencies entering India are also setting up base in Delhi. Wieden and Kennedy (W+K), the global agency for Nike and Nokia, entered India earlier this month. It was no surprise that W+K selected Delhi as its base, as Nokia -- a big spender in India – is headquartered in Delhi.

This shift, from Mumbai to Delhi, is similar to the shift that had happened a few decades ago when the centre of advertising action shifted from Kolkata to Mumbai. Colvyn Harris, CEO, JWT India, agrees that Delhi has become a parallel hub to Mumbai in terms of advertising.

The way out for Mumbai, Sharma feels, would be to develop Navi Mumbai and Maha Mumbai within the next three to five years to attract business back to the city. Accounts have shifted within the agency as well. Leo Burnett Mumbai has lost the Bacardi account worth Rs 45 crore (Rs 450 million) to its counterpart in Delhi. Also, the Coca-Cola account, for which Leo Burnett Mumbai handled Thums Up and Mazaa, moved to the agency's Delhi office more than a year ago when Coca-Cola's marketing division shifted base to the capital.

Sumana Guha Ray in Mumbai
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