Video: Lowe & Partners’ Michael Wall in conversation

Michael Wall, CEO, Lowe and Partners speaks on the agency’s India operations and why Cannes Lions matters

by Noor Fathima Warsia
Published - Jun 22, 2012 10:08 PM Updated: Jun 22, 2012 10:08 PM
Video: Lowe & Partners’ Michael Wall in conversation

Lowe Lintas is one of the strongest markets for Lowe and Partners globally and this year at Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, the agency had put the spotlight on the market with Lowe Lintas Chief Creative Officer and Chairman R Balki and Shekhar Kapur speaking in the session.

Michael Wall, CEO, Lowe and Partners tells exchange4media that India has played, and continues to play, a very important role for the agency’s global operations.

“One of the reasons why we did our session here, on India, is because it is such an important topic for the globally industry and our agency is a big part of the industry in India. We felt it was very important to see where India is at and how it is shaping creativity not just domestically but also from a global perspective. And it was a very insightful and informative session. That is part of what makes our agency such a powerhouse in India really -- the talent and capability that we have that understands local market and how global brands need to play in the market. It is our secret ingredient in a way!” said Wall.

As is known, Lowe Lintas abstains from all awards platforms, including Cannes Lions, where while the agency’s global office can send work from India but the arrangement still has to come in play. Wall believes that staying away from Cannes Lions has its disadvantages. He said, “My philosophy on awards is that they are a celebration of great work and Cannes Lions is as important as it gets. It may not be the best award but it is important. People want to win this to celebrate ambition, imagination and pride in work. These are important characteristics and they have value. But I recognise the situation in India. I completely understand Balki’s issue with the system in India and as business partner to Balki, I respect his decision. My job as a network person is not to impose a will or systematise; it is to listen to my partners and see what they need and how we can be of any service to them.”

Wall asserts that Lowe Lintas has a strong operation in India, a great management and inspiration leadership with people like Balki. But for the year ahead, the objective is to bring scale to the operation. “Our collective brief is that we don’t want to rely on our heritage and where we are right now – we want to take all of that and turbo-charge it for where we are headed. We have in-house capabilities like digital, production, mobile but we have to develop them as broader level capabilities. More clients will look for solutions that is more than just TV advertising. TV advertising is such an important part for advertising in India but we have to develop things like social, mobile and digital as part of our overall offer.”

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