It probably does not come as a surprise to the industry that Josy Paul, who was the Chairman and National Creative Director of David, has decided to stay away from the newly merged entity, Bates David Enterprise. WPP may perceive it as a “strategy of investing and consolidating its networks in fast growing key markets like India”, but obviously this wasn’t in sync with the vision Paul had for David.
In many ways David has been his baby and the agency bears a stamp that is every bit Josy Paul. So his decision to move out is bound to be a blow to the young Davids of the erstwhile agency.
When contacted soon after the merger announcement, Paul explained, “I personally believe that collaboration is a stronger model than merger. I have not seen enough successes of creative mergers in the past. As I don’t understand this model well, I thought I should not come in the way of the merger as it is a personal belief.”
Did he raise objections to the merger? Replying in the affirmative, he said, “I am thankful that Ogilvy was patient to lend me its ears and entertain my debates. It doesn’t happen at many places, but I have no complaints or regrets.”
He added, “The past six years with David have been a fairly interesting phase and it was probably the most productive years in my career. The last thing I want to do is mull over the past because I know that the future would be bright.”
Paul said that he has not decided where he will be heading next. It could be with an agency or he could even start something of his own. But he is sure it would be in the field of communication of ideas. “If there is an opportunity outside advertising that would allow me the space to explore ideas and communicate them, I would be open to it,” he remarked.
Paul disclosed that he has a vision of influencing great ideas through collaboration and that he wants to works towards that goal. “I believe in the network of talent, and not in its hierarchy. We were doing something like this with Virtual David where one interested in generating ideas could contribute, irrespective of being in any part of the world. I want creativity not be organization bound. This may or may not work, but it’s a philosophy that I believe in and would like to see it work. We need to focus on issues of talent or any other concerning the industry, in order to improve it.”
So how difficult was it for Paul to let go of his baby David? “I believe that O&M and Bates would make David fly and I am counting on them for this. If this does not happen, it will be akin to my death,” he concluded.