Campaign details

Agency: Madison Public Relations
Brand: ITC Ltd. - Foods Division

The challenge

Wheat is a staple food in India which is consumed by 132.42 crore Indians everyday for at least one meal period. In the backdrop, India's No.l branded atta (wheat flour) brand, Aashirvaad from ITC Foods was being misrepresented to contain plastic in it.

Through various social and digital platforms, false videos disparaging the brand were being circulated. Indian consumers were being misled to believe that the reputed and credible brand is untrustworthy. Thus the principle challenge was to stop the circulation of these false videos, alter and correct the Indian mindset about what was being misunderstood as plastic in the atta is naturally found protein called 'gluten' that lends elasticity to wheat flour

  • Manage sporadic market reactions to the situation across the length and breadth of the country.
  • Deploy differentiated media management strategies in each market There was no one-size-fits- all approach as the media landscape in India is as diverse as the geography.
  • Educate media and create awareness so that no negative news appears.
  • Expected turnout – Restore confidence and brand credibility amongst the consumers through the same media channels that speculated otherwise, include brand's clarification in the news stories, ensure positive brand reference.

Clarity of goals

  • To re-iterate that Aashirvaad, India's No. 1 packaged atta brand is safe for consumption.
  • To educate and inform all stakeholders that what is being misunderstood as plastic is 'gluten'.
  • To retain brand's credibility and market leadership in the branded packaged atta segment.
  • Restore consumer faith in the brand.

Alignment between strategy and execution

  • Timely and virtual creation of a crisis cell including key stakeholders for regular and timely situation monitoring and updates.
  • Leveraged the benefits of WhatsApp group feature to maintain a closed group where all crisis related communication and updates were shared with stakeholders across geographies.
  • Proactive media outreach with supporting documents to ensure that media is equipped with relevant information for reference while filing stories.
  • Ensure smooth transition between strategizing & actual on-ground execution which was managed at a micro level with hourly updates being shared with all stakeholders.
  • Optimum deployment of resources across markets to ensure a dedicated point of contact is available and familiar with the local media.
  • Media communication was activated in 5 8 markets which was followed by press briefings being held in two key markets including Assam in the North East and New Delhi, national capital of India. The team was effective at juggling communication between multiple geographies, ensuring well-coordinated on-ground management of the crisis.

Measurable results