Tata Beverage Group seeks global agency

Beverages Drinks division of Indian multinational group plans global brand drive.

Tetley: one of Tata's global brands
Tetley: one of Tata's global brands

The drinks division of Indian multinational Tata Group is seeking an agency for global corporate PR to help establish the Tata Beverage Group brand internationally.

The Tata Beverages division has been formed over the past 18 months by the amalgamation of a number of its international brands, including Tetley Tea in the UK.

The division is seeking media relations and strategic thought and advice.

Katie Tufnell, corporate communications manager at Tata Beverage Group, said: 'We know there is a need to raise the profile of the Tata Beverage Group name in key markets and we have an exciting proposition for an agency to partner us.'

The brief will initially focus on the UK and US, but the drinks firm is looking for an agency with a global outreach.

Tata's tea business has existing PR support in India, so the brief will focus on raising its profile in non-Indian markets.

The Tata division is in initial discussions with a number of agencies, thought to include MS&L and Hill & Knowlton. It hopes to make an appointment before the start of its new financial year in April.

Tata Beverages is the rebranded Tata Tea group and is the world's second-largest global branded tea operation, with a presence in more than 60 countries.

The division consists of Tetley Group, Tata Tea, Tata Coffee, Eight O'Clock Coffee and Himalayan-branded mineral water.

When Tata bought Tetley in 2000 for £271m, it was the biggest acquisition in Indian corporate history, but the group's beverage division still has a far lower profile than its automotive and steel businesses.

Last year, its drinks arm unveiled a fiveto 15-year roadmap to create a global leader in branded beverages and compete head-to-head with Coca-Cola, Pepsi and Unilever.

Growth will include driving aggressively into the non-tea market, such as energy drinks, and may increase with further acquisitions and partnerships.

Tata Group uses FD for its financial public relations in the UK and has used the City firm to support previous acquisitions, such as Tata Motor's takeover of Jaguar Land Rover in 2008 and Tata Steel's take-over of Corus in 2007.

Last year, Tata Communications, the group's telecoms arm, handed Hill & Knowlton a global media relations brief.

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