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“Creativity is our most important competitive advantage”

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SummaryLeo Burnett’s top brass Jarek Ziebinski, president of Leo Burnett Asia Pacific and Mark Tutssel, global chief creative officer, Leo Burnett were in town recently.

Leo Burnett’s top brass Jarek Ziebinski, president of Leo Burnett Asia Pacific and Mark Tutssel, global chief creative officer, Leo Burnett were in town recently. There were various reasons for the visit. One of them was to announce various promotions within the agency. The massive creative shuffle saw KV Sridhar (Pops) becoming the chief creative officer, India subcontinent. Nitesh Tiwari was promoted to the post of chief creative officer of Leo Burnett India. Vikram Pandey is now executive creative director (ECD) responsible for the Tata Capital and HDFC Life accounts. Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari is ECD, handling the Sony Entertainment Television account. Vicky Bhambhani is now regional creative director on Tide. Piyush Gupta, Abhishek Sinha, Nikhil Mehrotra and Shreyas Jain have been promoted as creative directors. Some new talent has also been hired including Timsy Gupta, Rishi Agarwal, Sapna Aluwalia and Rajneesh Ramakrishnan.

Leo Burnett is currently one of the best performing Publicis agencies in India. While other Publicis Groupe agencies such as Publicis Ambience and Saatchi & Saatchi have not really been coming out with great creative work, Leo Burnett has been consistently winning businesses and also various awards. It has been among India’s top two award winning agencies at Cannes in the last decade. It won ‘Global Agency of the Year’ within the Burnett network twice in the same period. Early this year, the agency also acquired a digital agency, Indigo, which is now being integrated with the main agency.

Ziebinski and Tutssel talk to FE’s Payal Khandelwal about what makes Leo Burnett India one of the most awarded agencies, integration with Indigo, and growth in the Apac region. Edited excerpts.

How do you rate Leo Burnett’s performance in the Apac region?

Ziebinski: I came in 2009 with a mission to grow Leo Burnett across the region, India being one of the markets. We wanted to grow two times faster than the average industry growth and we have delivered that. We have identified markets which are doubling our client base —India is one of these countries. We have had double-digit growth in India (100% growth), Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia. The regional growth in 2010-11-12 has been about 40% (revenue growth). This allows us to invest in business and focus on talent and on areas which are becoming important for clients including digital and shopper marketing.

How is the integration with Indigo Consulting coming along?

Ziebinski: We acquired the digital agency Indigo this year and

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