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Wednesday, Feb 14, 2007

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Group M to fix Future Media's pricing strategy

Purvita Chatterjee

New venture
WPP's other media units such as `The Store' could also get roped in.
Future Media is not limiting itself to a single partner in the business.

Bharat Matrimony

Mumbai Feb. 13 With the possibility of WPP's Group M picking up stake in Future Media, the former with its global learning is expected to determine the pricing policy for the group's retail media company.

Speaking to Business Line, Mr Partho Dasgupta, CEO of Future Media, said, "Group M would be setting the metrics for the business in terms of the pricing with respect to the quality of customers drawn to the stores." Having worked with retailers in other markets, WPP's Group M would be using its skills through its media ownerships in other parts of the world.

"We would be developing the business together and leapfrogging into it before the others can come into this space," Mr Dasgupta said. The largest retailer with the maximum footprints and the largest media house would thereby create an USP with clients.

Besides, WPP's other media units such as `The Store' could also get roped into the functioning of the operations in India. "Group M already has its activation units in place and would be bringing in its experience in this area," Mr Dasgupta added.

However, Future Media is not limiting itself to a single partner in the business and would be inviting equity participation from a host of strategic investors. As Mr Dasgupta said, "We are looking at more strategic alliances and Group M is not the only player that we are talking to. There is a large interest shown by others and this includes financial institutions, and strategic investors who want to pick up equity in the company."

While most of the big brands are already clients of Future Media, there is a need for having different solutions for the different categories while using media in the retail space. "Innovation is required as per the brand's needs. The purpose is to allow brands to shout out to consumers while they are shopping," Mr Dasgupta pointed out.

In fact, the FMCG category is one, which can use the retail space within the stores to their advantage. "For FMCG brands, the retail medium is an ideal fit. Since, this is a touch point for consumption, it can also lead to brand conversion," Mr Dasgupta claimed.

Exploring media within the retail space, Future media is mulling media options ranging from television, radio to even print within the stores. For instance, under the print option, it is looking at launching booklets and catalogues while radio might entail tying up with local station for customised content.

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