Tuesday, July 6, 2010

After Loosing Contract PR Firm Created a Ruskus

The Commonwealth Games organizing committee (OC) has found itself grappling with a new problem. Its decision to oust the previously selected public relations firm, 20:20 Media, as the PR consultant for the Games has run into trouble with the PR agency threatening legal action.

Sources say the reason for the spat is the OC’s decision to terminate the contract, allegedly without settling the dues of over a crore, say officials. Also, the reasons given by the OC for termination were not found satisfactory by the PR agency, claim sources.

While OC spokesperson Lalit Bhanot refused to comment, claiming that the PR agency hadn’t been given the marching orders yet, highly placed sources in the OC confirmed that a decision had been taken to discontinue their services. ‘‘There have been differences on the level of service provided by 20:20 Media. The OC is not happy with the work they have done, and that’s why a decision was taken to appoint another PR consultant,’’ said the source. In fact, the OC has already taken out an RFP (request for proposal) in June.
20:20 Media was hired in October last year after going through the due process of a public tender. Sources say there was a problem with payments right from the beginning. However, it was the decision by the OC earlier last month to go in for a new agency that led to a row. ‘‘The agency had sent a letter asking for reasons for their ouster before the Queen’s Baton Relay took place in the last week of June. However, they served a legal notice once the OC team came back from Wagah,’’ said the source. The notice was subsequently ‘adjourned’ after hectic parleys with the OC.

‘‘The decision to bring in a new agency was taken as the scope of work has changed and we wanted a more experienced team to be in charge. This is what we explained to the agency,’’ said a top official of the OC.

The new RFP has already drawn interest from other agencies, said OC sources. One of the feelers reportedly is from a consortium that includes Dilip Cherian’s Perfect Relations.