Vivo Row: Agency heads back Ogilvy, say it’s high time industry took stand to protect idea

Prasoon Joshi, Amer Jaleel, Saurabh Varma, Rohit Ohri and Tarun Rai applaud Ogilvy for addressing the problem that has always been spoken about in hush-hush tones so far

by Neeta Nair
Published - Oct 22, 2019 8:52 AM Updated: Oct 22, 2019 12:04 PM

63.9k

AamirVivo

How often do you see top honchos from the creative world echoing the same sentiment? Plagiarism and idea shopping by clients have always been spoken about in hush-hush tones within the industry, with very rare cases coming into the limelight. But with Ogilvy moving to Bombay High Court over a Vivo advertisement and the court ruling that the commercial, made by Dentsu Impact, was in fact very similar to the proposal sent by Ogilvy to Vivo for the very same ad, the matter has come out of agency boardrooms into the open. 

Prasoon Joshi, CEO & CCO of McCann Worldgroup India and Chairman of McCann Asia Pacific

Talking about why it is a turning point for the advertising industry, Prasoon Joshi, CEO & CCO of McCann Worldgroup India and Chairman of McCann Asia Pacific, says, “It’s an important decision and would bring much-desired clarity for all who take creative ideas for granted and do not acknowledge that at the pitch stage, the agency clearly owns the ideas. Intellectual property rights may be complex to exercise but the ethics of it should be clear. Being in a creative service industry should not leave any organisation vulnerable to exploitation when it comes to the key asset - creative ideas.”

Amer Jaleel, Chairman and Group CCO, Mullen Lowe Lintas Group

Applauding Ogilvy’s decision to take Vivo to court Amer Jaleel, Chairman and Group CCO, Mullen Lowe Lintas Group, goes on to say, “I am sure that since it’s a legal case both parties would have their side of the story and one should not jump to judge. But having said that, I am glad something made the entire pitch process come out in the open. A salute to Ogilvy for standing up for something they believed in. And surely the client will have their reasons for the similarities, but we should relook at the entire game of pitches from the opportunity that this gives us.”

Saurabh Varma, CEO, Publicis Communications, South Asia

Ogilvy also has a supporter from another agency network head. Saurabh Varma, CEO, Publicis Communications, South Asia, shares, “The industry has to unite and support this bold move. This is a good first step to address a massive problem. Personally, I believe we need to move from being reactive to being proactive around protecting our ideas, effort and time. As we move increasingly to a project-based environment, we have to ensure there is a pitch fee for any multi-agency exploration. That is the least we can do as an industry. Publicis Groupe will back any such initiative.”

Rohit Ohri, Chairman and CEO, FCB India

Rohit Ohri, Chairman and CEO, FCB India, says, “A lot of Chinese and South Korean clients are known to go around shopping for ideas. They have no agency loyalty or concept of brand building. In fact, they are not even shopping for broader creative work, they are just shopping for scripts. Many agencies fall prey to this culture despite knowing that it is an unscrupulous trend.  Which is why I am absolutely delighted with what Ogilvy has done in the Vivo case. I am 100 per cent with them and feel that they should take this to the logical end.”

Tarun Rai, Chairman and Group CEO, Wunderman Thompson, South Asia

Tarun Rai, Chairman and Group CEO, Wunderman Thompson, South Asia, too hopes this controversy goes a long way in helping agencies get their due and the much-needed respect from clients.

Rai said, “Plagiarism is an issue in every creative field, be it music, movies or books. Periodically controversies erupt and the issue gets highlighted. But, somehow, our industry has chosen not to rake up such controversies, so far. Maybe because it’s difficult to prove or because of the potential of future business from the same client. So, without knowing the full details of the case, I’m at least happy that this issue has got highlighted in our industry. With clients calling for pitches for individual projects, the chances of such instances have only increased. I do hope that this controversy will make clients more conscious and respect the agencies they have called to the pitch.”

For more updates, be socially connected with us on
WhatsApp, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook & Youtube

Stay updated with the latest news in the Marketing & Advertising sector with our daily newsletter

By clicking Sign Up, I agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.