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48-hour write-in on ‘Brands Under Fire’ culminates, book to be published soon

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48-hour write-in on ‘Brands Under Fire’ culminates, book to be published soon

The latest initiatives from the Subhas Ghosal Foundation, a 48-hour write-in, which commenced from November 24, 2006 with some of the best minds in advertising and marketing talking on ‘Brands under Fire’, culminated on a very productive note. A book based on these discussions will be published in eight to 12 weeks.

The presenting partners for ‘Brands under Fire’ were CNBC TV-18 and Allianz. The 48-hour write-in was designed as a two-day gettogether of industry heavyweights that included the likes of Rama Bijapurkar, Gerson da Cunha, Santosh Desai, Vijay Gokhale, Kiran Khalap, Pranesh Misra, Shripad Nadkarni, M G Parmeswaran, Roger Pereira, Gita Piramal, S Ramchander, Shekar Swamy and Shiv Viswanathan, among others.

The initiative was driven by Ivan Arthur and TBWA\India’s Kurien Mathews. Throwing more light on the experience of the write-in, Mathews said, “The 48-hour write-in was a very unique and enjoyable experience. It was a gathering of some of India’s best minds in the communications business. We were a diverse group, with good mix of academicians and practitioners. For all of us it was a first of its kind experience, and I think it went off rather well.”

He explained that the discussions on ‘Brands Under Fire’ examined the adversity faced by four brands – the UTI, Unit 64 crises, worms in Cadbury and pesticides in Coke/Pepsi. Mathew said, “The debate was of a very high order, and some very interesting points were raised, which will be in the book.”

Industry professionals can catch these discussions on CNBC TV-18 on features starting soon on the ‘Brands Under Fire’ debate/discussions or they can buy the book.

Said Mathews, “The Subhas Ghosal Foundation started this project with K Kurian’s idea of examining the role of Advertising in Times of Adversity, to be written by Ivan Arthur and myself. After gathering the case materials and numerous rounds of discussions, Ivan and I decided to expand the scope of the project, and suggested to the Subhas Ghosal Foundation the idea of the 48-hour write in (an idea proposed to us by Anant Rangaswami).”

Speaking further on the proposed book, Mathews said, “That journey will form the first section. The second section will be the cases themselves. The third section will feature 13 points of view from India’s legendary communicators – what they actually wrote at 48-hour write-in while at the AICAR Business School over this weekend. Finally, we will have a small section on the whole experience. We expect that there will be enough material in the book to stimulate a whole generation of academicians, practitioners and students.”

The task in front of the panel during the 48 hours was to use the existing material on the four cases as a platform for their personal points of view. They were asked to analyse, evaluate and pillory the strategies and the advertising done by the four brands on this particular occasion. At the end of it all, these members wrote in their take off from the discussions and views on the subject.


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