No one ever said that political advertising was simple. Nonetheless, many agencies are attracted to it for the influx of revenues and the scale of the creative idea. Even as agencies and political parties are preparing for the Lok Sabha elections in 2009, the Delhi election campaign already has the Bharatiya Janata Party caught in a controversy.
Delhi Pradesh BJP was in talks with various agencies and creative directors for its Delhi election campaign. Senior officials from agencies have informed that Delhi Pradesh BJP did not hire any of the agencies or creative directors for the campaign, but instead has given the work to an agency called The Hive. Officials from The Hive had also attended the various presentations, and now the creative heads are alleging that The Hive has ‘lifted’ creative ideas made during the presentations and claiming them to be their own.
One creative idea in particular that is raising a few questions is titled ‘Mehengi Padi Congress’. Sushil Goswami, who owns the creative shop Kaknoos and is associated with McCann Erickson, is one of the creative directors who had made a presentation to Delhi Pradesh BJP. Goswami has been working for Graphisads, who had also made the presentation to Delhi BJP.
BJP has hired Goswami for developing the creatives for the Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh Assembly elections. However, Goswami is “upset” over the Delhi election campaign. Speaking to exchange4media, Goswami said, “I had created and presented the slogan ‘Congress, Tum Bahut Mehengi Padi’ to the BJP. I was very upset to see news reports where The Hive presented my creative idea as their own. They just bluntly lifted the idea. If the Delhi BJP bosses had already made up their mind to award the business to someone else, why were the other agencies made to work hard for the creative presentation to Delhi BJP? If our creatives were to be used, we should have been asked about it once.”
It is understood that these presentations were attended by BJP’s top brass that included Vijay Kumar Malhotra, Arun Jaitley, Dr Harshvardhan and other important leaders.
When contacted by exchange4media, Dr Harshvardhan said, “Arun Jaitley was completely looking into this.” All attempts to speak to Arun Jaitley were futile.
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