NEW DELHI: Reckitt Benckiser, the household goods giant, has caused controversy in India after charging agencies a fee to participate in a pitch for its media buying account.

The company is reported to have requested that shops wishing to compete for this aspect of its advertising activity must pay some $10,000 (€8,133; £6,701) simply for the right to enter the review process.

Other stipulations issued by Reckitt include withholding commission for the first 12 to 18 months of any deal, because the winning agency could be expected to pick up more business due to its ties with the firm.

The Advertising Agencies Association of India has advised its members to boycott the pitch, with MPG, GroupM, OMD, Lodestar, Madison, Mudra Max and Prachar all thought to have followed this route.

ZenithOptimedia, the incumbent on Reckitt's media buying account, and Initiative's Lintas India are believed to be the only multinational networks still in talks with the owner of Finish and Vanish.

Data sourced from Campaign Asia-Pacific; additional content by Warc staff