Content is comming here as you probably can see.
How do you define the Indian youth and what attracts them the most?
Shamik Sengupta, Creative Director, Fortune Communications Hanoz Mogrelia, Creative Director, Saatchi & Saatchi Anu J, Creative Director, Creativeland Asia Nilesh Vaidya, Creative Director, Euro RSCG India
 
Jagdip Bakshi, Chairman, GoaFest 2008 and CEO, Contract Advertising advertising industry

"Though it’s a very small stake even now in India, in revenue terms advertising has earned roughly $450 million. The good news is that the industry is growing the way any industry grows when the economy starts to emerge, at twice the GDP growth rate. Having said that, one can argue that the base is so small being compared with million dollars, I think there is a long way to go with an economy where the purchasing power parity is over $1 trillion. That’s a very small percentage of GDP, and there is no doubt it is rising. But I think the growth has come very late in the day, and a lot of catching up is required."

 


Jagdip Bakshi, CEO, Contract Advertising, is an advertising veteran. He joined JWT (then HTA) in 1980 as a management trainee, and after that for the next 15 years, he worked on large and small businesses at HTA, significant among these being GSK, Hero Honda, Pepsi and ITC.

In 1997 he was entrusted with the advertising responsibility for Unilever’s Central Asia and Middle East (CAME) region, and in 1998 he took over as Senior Vice-President and General Manager, JWT Bangalore.

In 2000, Bakshi moved to London as Global Business Director at JWT’s Global Business unit to head Unilever Beverages and Personal Wash (Lipton and Lux).

In 2002, Bakshi moved to JWT Delhi as Senior Vice-President and General Manager. Under his stewardship, JWT Delhi won significant new business wins, including Reckitt Benckiser, Frito Lay, KFC, Apollo Tyres, Xerox, Lipton, Tropicana, and Gatorade, among others. Bakshi took over as CEO of Contract Advertising in 2004.

In conversation with exchange4media’s Rishi Vora and Tasneem Limbdiwala, Bakshi talks about GoaFest 2008 and several issues that are daunting the advertising industry.

How is GoaFest 2008 different from the time it was first brought to the industry in 2006?
GoaFest 2008 has seen the coming together of AAAI and the Ad Club, and with this, there is no scope for any duplication in terms of participants, judges, works and many other things. When there were two Awards shows earlier, some agencies took sides. Now that the industry has a single award show, there is practically no scope for taking sides.

Moreover, all agencies would be benefited from this since they would be spending less and can now focus on a single platform for recognition.

How would you best describe the judging standards at GoaFest 2008?
I would say that the judging at GoaFest 2008 is much better than ever before. When you have a creative award festival and when it is creative people judging it, it really sets the right atmosphere and the right standard for the industry. I’m glad that both Abby’s and GoaFest Awards have come together, which is good for the industry. Thus, I believe that the judging process at GoaFest has improved.

The thought process behind having such an advertising festival in India was to have it as a week-long event, like we have the Cannes and other international advertising festivals. When can we see this happening?
When the GoaFest committee had sat for the first time, we did think of doing something on the lines of Cannes, but we thought it was a right decision to begin with a three-day festival. But yes, we do have this thing in mind to make GoaFest a bigger event, as you said, something on the lines of Cannes. The Awards at Cannes are nicely spread out on different days. They have grown over a period of time and so would GoaFest.

How do you think the advertising industry has shaped up in the period of one year?
One of the topics that we have at the Advertising Conclave at GoaFest this year is ‘How do you nail the real value?’ Today, if we look at the industry in terms of how much value it has created, my guess is that it has only lost if we look at the recent years. As an industry, all we need to do is to get the top 20 agencies or players in one room and discuss this issue.

In the IT industry, Nasscom is a classic example of sticking to a strict price band. If we take inspiration from this, we will then be able to up the value of the advertising industry. We could have a similar agreement like this in the advertising industry. It is important to understand that undervaluing affects the industry on an overall basis. If one client and its agency are not doing a good job, it is probably because both the client and the agency lack good resources. Now, the lack of talent is a problem arising due to agencies not paying people well enough to retain them. So, my point is that we need to understand that it is harming the industry. Nowadays, people are so selfish that they have found a convenient way out of not paying an agency what it actually deserves.

Are you saying that agencies are undervaluing creativity?
Yes. It is the lack of understanding between the agencies and the client that leads to one agency paying off against another. Even though we all are competitors, we all are trying to do the same thing. We need to have an agreement in place. But today, what is happening is that, for instance, if an agency is charging say Rs 10 for a particular work, then some other agency would charge Rs 9 and take the deal. This is not good at all for the industry, and thus, I think agencies need to understand the value that the clients seek and how to get there. Also, there has to be a follow-up by the top 20 players in the industry to make in making an agreement in safeguarding the value of creativity in the advertising industry.

I can’t understand why advertisers don’t charge royalties. For instance, if I was an author and my book gains great popularity, I get royalty for that. One can make millions out of a creative idea, I can’t understand why nobody is doing anything about this.

What is the industry doing to motivate the young creative minds of the country?
We still need to do a lot when it comes to the young creatives. For me, GoaFest is just a beginning, and I think there should be many more such initiatives for the young creative talent. People in Mumbai and other metros have got enough to up their creative quotients, but I am not sure if other smaller areas of the country can provide that kind of support to the youngsters in the industry.

One may be fortunate enough to join a big agency like JWT or any other big agency, which has a culture of training and development. However, if one joins a smaller place or is in some semi-urban region, he is very much out in the cold unless there is an entire industry initiative to make something happen.

Initiatives like MICA/Mudra and GoaFest are only two initiatives in the last 10 years that the industry has seen. The rest of them are mostly unorganised and haphazard. They are not annual or properly organised programmes for young people. So, this is one of the areas where the industry has to work upon.

How is the industry doing revenue wise?
Though it’s a very small stake even now in India, in revenue terms advertising has earned roughly $450 million. The good news is that the industry is growing the way any industry grows when the economy starts to emerge, at twice the GDP growth rate. Having said that, one can argue that the base is so small being compared with million dollars, I think there is a long way to go with an economy where the purchasing power parity is over $1 trillion. That’s a very small percentage of GDP, and there is no doubt it is rising. But I think the growth has come very late in the day, and a lot of catching up is required.

Where do you see Indian advertising in the list of other international agencies of the same network?
I think Indian agencies come in the Top 10 of their networks. According to me, JWT India or Ogilvy India are superstars in their individual global networks. In fact, for Lowe, they are probably the only stars in their global networks.

So, why are the work done by the Indian agencies not doing that well as expected?
From the awards’ perspective, I think we do win international awards. We have won quite a few Golds and Silvers. I agree we can do better, but at least we as a country have woken up to advertising. Our ideas are probably as good as anybody else’s, but where we lose is that we don’t spend enough time and money on executing ideas.

How, according to you, do awards impact creative minds in general?
I think an award show plays an important role in motivating people in producing quality work time and again. It pushes the bar of excellence in the industry.

When can we see GoaFest become an international event?
Well, this year, we have invited the neighbouring countries as well. But, really I think it will take a couple of years before it gets seriously recognised around the world. Like any other event that goes through a lag before becoming thoroughly international, GoaFest, too, will take some time. I think it is already grabbing several eyeballs internationally. Today we don’t have to push hard for international speakers like before. So, that’s a positive sign. Given the progress, we will see many more changes in the next couple of years.

 
 
 
 
This site is best viewed in Internet Explorer 5 and its higher version at 800 X 600 resolution.
Copyright © : 2008 Adsert Web Solutions Pvt. Ltd. New Delhi, India. All rights reserved.

Site designed by: Vinayak Alle