The UK’s landmark decision to exit the European Union has sent jitters across the global advertising industry with both brands and agencies scrambling to assess the impact of this vote. Indian advertising leaders share their diverse views on Brexit and its effect on the Indian economy and the advertising landscape.
Read on for straitlaced, cynical, honest and analytical responses and even predictions on Cannes entries on the back of Brexit ……
“Thank God India is a young country”
ShashiSinha CEO IPG Mediabrands
I have no view other than the fact I happen to be in London and common people in pubs and restaurants are more bothered about England's chances in UEFA rather than the way this vote has gone so if they as citizens are not worried why should we....on a serious note this is a dangerous sign as the old people have voted against the wishes of the young people with whom the future lies. Thank God India is a young country so that the young will always reflect their aspirations and wishes unlike the UK situation
‘No Mid-Long term Impact of Brexit”
AshishBhasin – AshishBhasin, Chairman and CEO South Asia, Dentsu Aegis Network
I don’t think there will be a mid- term or long term impact in India. Yes the sentiment will be a little negative as business abhors uncertainty. Sometimes client hold back theirspends in a scenario of uncertainty. We have a domestic consumption story, yes the sentiment will shaken short term but no medium or long term impact really.
Some Indian groups/ companies which have invested in the UK maybe impacted. What everyone seems to be forgetting is what actually impacts us in India is the monsoon, our issues are very different, if we have a good monsoon everything goes in a positive cycle,that is a more fundamental issue for us.
“A failed monsoon is what we should be all paranoid about”
Joseph George, Regional President, South & Southeast Asia, Group CEO India, Mullen Lowe Lintas
Though India is a largely domestic-driven economy, it is no longer immune to global events as was the case in the past. Given that, the global uncertainty that will exist for a few months will impact foreign investments into India. They may either get delayed or get diverted to safer options and instruments. That would then be a bummer for our government, given its singular obsession the past 2 years in getting in investments!
While there could be an unscheduled wait and watch in many areas, I am not sure Brexit will make our current woes of slowing exports and sluggish domestic consumption worse or better.
Quite frankly a failed monsoon is what we should be all paranoid about. We are a domestic consumption based economy and monsoons continue to play a disproportionate role in determining that. As yet at-least.
If the British parliament does go ahead with the exit, there just maybe ( after a decent night watch ) a possibility that Britain may reach out to India offering a closer economic partnership.
And ironically, so may the EU. Both will build new partners and alliances and there probably lies an opportunity for us. Both in terms of exports and other sops.
On a lighter note, what can be interesting to see is whether with our English speaking educated work force, one could see a “India Makes in Britain” initiative taking shape and form in the offices of the PMO and 10, downing Street!
“If I were UK, I would jump out of any weak coalition”
Sajan Raj Kurup CEO Chairman and CCO CreativeLandAsia
Views on Brexit …….
If you look at the long term interest of Britain, I completely agree with noted British journalist Douglas Murray that the risks of Britain staying in the EU far outweighs the risk of them leaving.
We all forget that Britain historically has been a very enterprising kingdom, way more enterprising than the rest of the continent put together. The fact that we all speak English in every continent and not French Spanish or German is a simple example of this enterprise. From politics to literature to trade and innovation, for centuries, Britain probably made more inroad than any other European nation. Britain was the aggregator of sorts for Europe before slowly getting aggregated into the EU post World War II.
But again, Britain was never really integrated into the EU. It was not really a marriage. It was only a trade arrangement. Britain never adopted the currency, or the Schengen status. Even the benefits of European free-trade has been questioned since the time of Margaret Thatcher.
Today with newer growth markets opening up in the east and Most of EU on a 1% growth trajectory, the benefits of free trade has diminished further.
Then there is the threat of ISIS and terror. If there is anything any ambitious country in the world needs today it is sovereignty and complete control of its trade, policies and borders.
If I were UK, I would jump out of any weak coalition. Yes the short term would look shaky but with all the uncertainty around, THERE HAS NEVER BEEN A BETTER TIME TO TAKE RISKS. Especially when you have had a strong illustrious past.
That said, it won't be such an easy divorce. We will see a lot of game playing. A nervous Europe will be clever enough to push for a quicker exit knowing that Britain is divided. Scotland will panic since they'd rather be seen as EU than go back to being second to the English in the kingdom. The Irish will get drunk either way.
Likely impact on the Indian economy and subsequently on the advertising business long-term………..
The impact, if at all, on the Indian economy would be quite muted. Few large businesses from India that use UK as the gateway to Europe will have to possibly reorganise their strategy. And plan contingencies for any trade restrictions that may arise during Brexit. However, I do think it will pan out in our interest when the highly skilled UK will seek stronger bilateral trade with India.
As far as the impact on advertising goes, let's talk about awards shows first. They seem to be making more money than the agencies these days.
I predict that about 20% of the award entries will have Brexit as the central idea at Cannes Lions. Also, since Cannes Lions are HQed out of London, I don't rule out the possibility of it becoming Cornwall, Yorkshire or Cumbria Lions. D&Ad, of course would be in a happy place. They might have been for Brexit.
As for the agencies, we are way down in the chain to get impacted. Unless of course, one of our clients get impacted. On a more serious note, we may see some networks with strong holding and presence in the UK having to restructure their regional brand contracts on large clients.
“In adverse moments, the first thing to get cut are Advertising and Promotion costs”
Dhunji Wadia, President, Rediffusion Y&R
From the reactions of my Social Media timeline it's mostly a state of 'Shock and Awe'. There's a clear split in opinion between immigration and globalisation. The younger and educated bunch, seem to see benefits of global access. For them diversity is part of today's living culture. They see the world as their stage whether for jobs, pay-scales, etc. The opposite is true for the lesser educated who are facing competition from immigrants for lower wage jobs. And, of course, the elderly - having seen a lot - feel a loss of identity of their British inheritance.
Which explains the overall negativity of my Social media timeline as it would be globally aware. Brexit may be seen as a blow to globalisation. But I'm sure that Governments and the Central banks will not sit idle. They will find ways to flood the markets with money.
I would be lying if I said I know how this will impact India. But some things are certain - the global growth outlook is bleak, Europe itself has not been ideal on handling the continents problems and with rock bottom interest rates there's seems be a limit to what Central Banks in developed markets would offer their economies.
A lot is riding on our economy. I guess if the economy does well then it would have a positive effect on the economy. Otherwise, in adverse moments, the first thing to get cut are Advertising and Promotion costs.