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Will outsourcing of creative ad work become a reality?

13-April-2005
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Will outsourcing of creative ad work become a reality?

Can India become an outsourcing hub for the advertising industry? Will egonomics (new jargon for ego problems) prevent creative work from moving from one country to another? These are the issues being debated within the advertising world.

In a seminar on `Outsourcing in Advertising: Is India Destination Next?' organised by Assocham, Mr Pranesh Misra, President and COO of Lowe India, said that initially production outsourcing could take off as this is closest to the IT-enabled services industry, followed by creative outsourcing.

He added that India could provide value to advertising work from China and other South-East Asian countries, while for the US and European markets, India could provide a cost advantage.

Citing the creative work done in India for Fair & Lovely and Lifebuoy (both of which were also used in other markets), Mr Misra said that several pan-Asian productions could be out of India.

Mr Suresh Manian, Partner, Banerjee & Partners, New York, said that the global advertising industry can be pegged at $280 billion, of which $50 billion would be accounted for by creative and production work.

He added that outsourcing creative work would be tough, as creative heads across the globe would guard their turf zealously. "That's when egonomics would play a role."

The strategy to be followed, according to Mr Manian, is to target small and medium agencies in the developed markets such as the US. "However, not all categories would be willing to outsource. Also, big networks will not get into this game," he added.

Mr Avijit Dutt, COO of iB&W Communications, said that about 70 per cent of the outsourcing earnings could come from "brawn" or technology-related outsourcing work and the remaining could come from "brains" or creative work.

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