As the curtains draw on year 2013 and the world
gets ready to welcome a spanking new year, we at BrandWagon felt it worthwhile to salute some of the biggest newsmakers of the Indian advertising, media and marketing business. This was a year of big challenges and solid breakthroughs of people that inspired and the ones that didn't. We saw a much-loved and respected advertising chief bid adieu to his agency after a glorious reign of 30 long years. We watched a firebrand editor and champion of women's rights get hauled in over a sexual harassment charge. A creative honcho gained notoriety in India and overseas because of spilled adverts of bondage and brutality and a committed broadcaster earmarked an investment of R20,000 crore in order to seed and reap opportunities in the sports business in India. So, here's our list of the top ten newsmakers of the advertising, media and marketing industry. Read on.
Executive chairman and national creative director, Ogilvy & Mather India and South Asia
Pandey IS our choice for newsmaker, becuase he has helped institute the agency's first internal awards called 'The Envies'. Pandey has made no bones about his dissatisfac-tion with the local awards and has said that in order to recognize and reward the efforts of his people; he was compelled to start off his own. In December this year, O &M held its awards and actor Amitabh Bachchan came in as guest of honour. This awards show will be an annual event and will be judged by the best of the best from the creative industry. Pandey sees himself as an enabler of these awards, and not the maker. The Envies has come into existence because of the combined efforts of Ogilvys creative ad men Abhijit Avasthi and Rajiv Rao, he says and therefore they are the true makers of the awards.
Chairman, exchange4media group
The always upbeat and driven chairman of Exchange4media group Annurag Batra turned news maker from news publisher, when he stepped in as a white knight investor for one of the oldest business magazines in India Anandabazar Patrika groups BW Businessworld. The magazine competes with Business Today, Outlook Business and Business India. Batra and investment banker Vikram Jhunjhunwala bought the magazine for an undisclosed amount in September this year and plan to launch Businessworld TV online and do more of events, books and subscription based intelligence products for the magazine. Batra claims that he currently owns 99% of the magazine, while Jhunjhunwala owns 1%. At some point, we will raise external capital as we have very ambitious plans for the magazine, says Batra.
Ad film maker, Genesis Films
For Indias vibrant ad industry, all roads eventually lead to Bollywood. Prahlad Kakar, the feisty ad film maker of Genesis Films hogged headlines this year, after he announced that he is directing the Bollywood film Happy Anniversary with star couple Aishwarya-Abhishek Bachchan. The movie will roll from 2014, and will be shot in the exotic locales of South Africa. Kakar, who runs ad film production house Genesis Productions since 1977, is known for his irreverent brand of humour and award winning ad campaigns. Some of the campaigns which hes been associated with, include Pepsi Yehi Hai Right Choice Baby! Aha!, Gold Spot The Zing Thing, Maggie 2 minutes!, Britannia Ting Ting Ti Ting, Limca Zor ka Jhatka and Maggi Sauces It's different.
Chief operating officer, Star India
Star Indias determined and visionary COO is our choice for newsmaker, because of his ambitious plans to expand the networks sports operations. With a commitment of R20,000 crore to the sports business, Star India has launched six new channels under the banner of Star Sports. The ESPN brand has been phased out, and cricketer MS Dhoni has been signed on as the brand ambassador for Star Sports. It is Guptas view that India cannot continue to be a one sport country'. So he is investing in sports such as hockey, badminton and football - especially in local leagues and is looking to put out sports programming in regional languages. In his view, consumption of English programming is around 2% in India. In order to break through to the masses, commentary for sports must happen in Hindi and other Indian languages.
Chairman & CEO, Indian subcontinent, Leo Burnett
Sharma, ONE of the longest serving chief executives of Indian advertising, stepped down as the chairman and CEO, Indian subcontinent at Leo Burnett this year. He will continue as a strategic advisor till July 2014. Sharma is also the president of the Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI), with his tenure ending in July 2014. He's been associated with other industry bodies such as the Media Research Users Council (MRUC) and Advertising Standards Council Of India (ASCI). He began his career with HCL and Voltas and in year 1979, graduated to advertising first with Clarion and then with Chaitra Advertising (now known as Leo Burnett.)
CCO & director, Publicis South Asia
It was clearly the best of times and the worst of times for Bobby Pawar. In April this year, Pawar was bang in the middle of a major controversy that threatened both his career and credibility. The Ford Figo ads created by JWT featuring caricatures of socialite Paris Hilton, former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi and former Formula One driver Michael Schumacher invited the ire of the online community because of its depictions of bondage and brutality. As Pawar was creative chief and managing partner of JWT, he was held responsible for it. The ad industry, however, stood by Pawar, and vouched for the fact that these were not scam ads. A few months down the line, Pawar had found his feet as chief creative officer and director of Publicis South Asia.
Chief executive officer, Lodestar
Dias, who was till now the chief operating officer of Lodestar Universal Media, took over the reins of the agency as CEO this year. Her promotion was long awaited and anticipated. Dias has around 20 years of experience in the media planning and buying business and has worked with her media team in the areas of telecom, automobile and a range of fast moving consumer goods (FMCG.) She has been involved with a range of Indian and multinational brands such as LOreal, Johnson and Johnson, Henkel, Renault,SC Johnson, Bayer, Sony Pictures, Samsung, Cadbury, The Times of India, Diageo, TataGroup, Mahindra Group and Amul. She has led Lodestar UM to the position of Media Agency of the Year several times in industry awards.
Managing director, Disney UTV
Screwvalas exit from Disney UTV was expected, just not this soon. The Walt Disney Company announced in October this year that Screwvala will step down as managing director of Disney UTV on June 30, 2014 and Siddharth Roy Kapur, currently managing director of Disney UTVs studios business, will take over the companys India operations. Screwvala, thus,
leaves the company two and a half years after Disney acquired UTV.
He was made the managing director afterDisney had acquired UTV, a company he founded and had run for two decades. Screvwala made R2000 crore from the Disney deal, around R800 crore of which he is using to invest in start-ups via his venture fund Unilazer Ventures.
Founder, chairman & CCO, Whyness
After 27 years in the Indian advertising industry and rising to the position of chief creative officer and chairman of Contract Advertising, ad man Ravi Deshpande dominated headlines again when he decided to start an integrated communications agency called Whyness. He has launched this agency in partnership with Findability Sciences, a Boston based big data technology company, and Seenk from Paris, which is a branding and design company. In an official communiqu, he says, We address brand challenges with solutions that combine human insights, creativity, design and technology. In a sense, it is an agency that bridges the gap between traditional agencies and digital agencies. Prior to Contract, Deshpande started his own agency called Lemon (in 2001),which was backed by Euro RSCG Worldwide (now Havas Worldwide).
Founder & editor, Anant Media
Tejpal, the founder and editor of Anant Media which publishes magazine Tehelka, made news this year and for all the wrong reasons. After a female colleague accused him of sexual harassment, Tejpal was forced to step down and surrender to the authorities. Tejpal dominated headlines on both news channels and print publications and was trending across social media platforms for more than two weeks straight. The Tarun Tejpal case has been a watershed moment for Indian
media, and has caused media companies to introspect over gender issues and laws, and set up internal systems, in order to address such issues better. Tehelka is best known for its sting operation called Operation West End that exposed Indian officials allegedly accepting bribes in a fake arms deal. The expos, which had led to the resignations of some top members of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led ruling coalition, and some top bureaucrats also resulted in a lot of backlash against the publication.
Compiled by Team BrandWagon