Suspicious ONGC advert deal

Vol 15, PW 25 (28 Jun 12) News in Brief

High-flying state-owned ONGC has crashed into a controversy by allegedly awarding a one-year Rs8.5cr ($1.8m) airport advertising contract to Delhi-based TDI International without going to tender.

“TDI won the contract on ‘nomination’ against company policy,” claims a well-placed inside source. ONGC, he adds, will buy advertising hoarding space though TDI at airports in Mumbai in Maharashtra; Ahmedabad in Gujarat; and Kozhikode in Kerala.

ONGC’s corporate communications chief SK Jha strangely denied any TDI contract, even though all advertising proposals go through him. “Brand promotion is good,” he said.

“But there’s no truth to these rumours.” When contacted, a TDI source confirmed it is in touch with ONGC for an advertising deal.

“We work with IndianOil, Shell and Castrol,” he said. “Our rates depend on the advertisement’s location and the contract length.

” Set up in 1986, TDI’s website describes it as India’s largest ‘airport media’ firm.