BSP votes for image change before UP polls
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In an attempt to break away from its image of a party of Dalits alone and reach out to voters across the social, economic and political spectrum, the BSP has hired an advertising agency to come up with a creative and media plan that will project and promote it as an all-inclusive, cosmopolitan party in the upcoming Assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh.
According to industry sources, BSP has hired Pickle Lintas, an advertising agency belonging to one of the top- rung advertising companies Lintas India, which, in turn, is part of the world's second largest marketing communications network, the US-based Interpublic Group.
Besides an all-embracing pitch, there are two other core issues — corruption and youth — that the party has advised Pickle to focus on. On a clean-up drive, party supremo Mayawati has sacked several ministers ever since the announcement of the poll schedule.
When contacted, Yashraj Rege, the Delhi branch head of Lintas Pickle, refused to comment on the subject.
While hiring advertising agencies for mass media campaigns is not uncommon among political parties, the BSP's move has come as a surprise because the party has always maintained that it doesn't believe in riding the media to reach out to its voters.
In fact, for the UP elections, all the major contenders have either already roped in or are in the process of hiring creative partners. The Samajwadi Party, for instance, has mandated the Mumbai branch of a not-so-well-known outfit Goldmine Advertising. The Congress has an old partner, Mumbai-based PerceptH, working on its UP polls communication. While the BJP is yet to zero in on an agency, the party is learnt to have approached McCann Erickson, the agency that worked with it during the last Lok Sabha polls.
It is not known how much BSP will pay Pickle Lintas for the campaign, but the advertising industry is expecting an expense of around Rs 120 crore to Rs 160 crore by big parties alone on mass media advertising in the coming weeks in the state.
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