India-based watch and jewellery company Titan has become the latest
brand to fund an advertising campaign through a corporate barter deal
with specialist MRI International.
Titan will pay for the entire pounds 6 million pan-European campaign by
effectively trading stock for media space through MRI. The corporate
barter specialist will plan and buy the campaign, which will use the
women’s press as well as Channel 4 and Channel 5.
The deal works by employing MRI as a middleman to pass Titan watches and
other excess stock on to media owners, usually for use as competition
prizes, in return for spots or space. MRI can also sell-on the stock to
raise cash that can be used to buy media.
Titan’s agreement follows a two-month test project, during which MRI
managed to generate pounds 2 million-worth of media space.
MRI’s CEO Europe, Simon Lee, said Titan would be able to fund its 2000
media activity across Europe with corporate barter deals. He added:
’Five years ago this sort of deal would have been impossible. Corporate
barter is now an accepted part of the media landscape and is regarded as
a legitimate trading currency.’
Titan is part of the giant Indian group Tata, which embraces everything
from iron and steel to financial services and hotels, and has an annual
turnover of pounds 5 billion - 3 per cent of India’s total GDP.
Titan managing director David Saldanha said: ’MRI has allowed us to
optimise our media spend by bartering our products in markets around the
world, including some that were new to us.’
He added that corporate barter would grow to be ’an essential currency’
for the company as it continued its international expansion.
Following MRI’s appointment by JanSport for a pounds 3 million campaign,
the Titan deal will further raise the profile of corporate barter as a
way of boosting media budgets. MRI estimates barter represents 2 per
cent of adspend in the UK.
MRI recently poached Michael Harris from its rival Active, where he was
head of sales, to become managing director. The hiring will enable Lee
to devote more time to developing the company’s European operations.
News Analysis, p9.