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Is advertising over-valued these days, experts debate at CII Marketing summit

20-August-2004
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Is advertising over-valued these days, experts debate at CII Marketing summit

The two-day CII fifth Marketing Summit which concluded on Thursday, saw huge participation from management students and professionals. The second day witnessed a heated session on whether advertising was over-valued these days. The panelists included Subroto Chattopadhyay, Executive Director, Pepsi Foods, Sunil Lulla, Executive Vice-President, Sony Entertainment Television, and Piyush Pandey, Group President and National Creative Director, O&M.

The panelists dwelt on the relationship shared between client, advertiser and media. Said Lulla, “When the client comes to us asking how we would slot an advertisement, we tell them to concentrate on the advertisement and we will make sure that it is placed perfectly for the masses to see.” He observed that advertising is a mix of style and gyan. “Both the halves can make it work,” he said.

Pandey argued that advertising, in the current scenario, “is so undervalued that one has to depend on MBAs”. With the help of some brilliant commercials, Pandey said, “Let us not underestimate the consumer. It is perhaps too much of gyan that has resulted in poor campaigns.” He emphasized that the problem with MBAs was that they try to logically decide everything and back it with research. “There is a limit to this gyan,” he argued.

Chattopadhyay, on the other hand, claimed that the purpose of business was to create and retain consumers forever. “Perhaps it is the pressure-situation that forces clients to logically analyse the situation and go for easy ways to reach out to the masses. Most of the times, marketers tend to avoid hard yards of PR, direct marketing, merchandising etc.”

The last session dealt on the effectiveness of industrial marketing. The panel included Rupin Jayal, VP, JWT, Yogesh Agarwal, President, Ballarpur Industries and Subodh Bhargava, Chairman, Wartsila (India). The upshot of this session was that industrial marketing was certainly not a road less travelled, but a road that has not been enough visible and glamorous.

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