Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Thursday, Apr 22, 2004
Columns - Mumbai Mosaic
When India's largest advertiser Hindustan Lever sneezes, the industry catches a cold. The news of Vindi Banga's `elevation' was really not hot news in Mumbai circles. People had been talking about it for some time now. But the restructuring was something which not too many people expected.
Arun Adhikari, who takes over as Managing Director of the Home and Personal Products division, is no stranger to advertising circles. He has been the face of HLL on the Indian Society of Advertisers' committee. This obviously makes him the pointsman in all intra-industry confabulations. A very polite, well-spoken gentleman, Arun Adhikari is well liked in industry circles. He is known for his ability to quickly grasp the essential points of a problem and either provide a realistic solution, or support one. The advertising industry will cheer his elevation. All the best, Mr Adhikari! God knows, you will need it.
Of Kohli and HT
Even as news trickled in that the INS was to get a new Chairman for its troubled Delhi Regional Committee in the shape of Rajan Kohli, the executive honcho of Hindustan Times, further news came in that Rajan was on his way out of the newspaper. Those who heard that he had accepted the INS position for just three months did not have a difficult time surmising that he would not be spending too much time at HT. Well, that would signal a new era at Hindustan Times. One that is less confrontationist, one hopes.
When a newspaper that is named `Midday' attempts to come out with a morning edition with the same name, warning bells should begin to ring within the organisation. Well, either they did not ring loud enough, or they were not heeded, but the a.m. edition of Midday took under a week to pull out of the morning sweepstakes and return to the afternoon slot where it has been lording it over for a long time now.
Johnnie Walker and the Oberoi Hotels organised a cultural event a few days ago. Judging from the profusion of advertising industry leaders present, one wondered whether they were all piano aficionados, or just fans of the legendary Scotch whisky. The fact that all stayed on for the music performance showed the cultural depth the advertising industry can boast of. For a moment one was scared they would imbibe the amber liquid, and well, keep walking.
Fair and graceful
No Abby award is without its moments of high drama. This time it was all done in a very `propah' way. An agency called Hungama wrote to the Ad Club Bombay claiming authorship of a certain Web-related entry. The problem was, the award had already been presented to Leo Burnett, which had sent in the entry as its creation and had graciously accepted the award, thank you. To cut a long story short, Leo Burnett took a little time, probably to make some internal enquiries, and then very gracefully returned the award. It has now gone to the rightful creator of the entry. We are sure Hungama would have preferred waltzing onto the Abby stage to receive the prestigious award, but then, whoever said life was perfect? Meanwhile, of course, Leo's scores in the agency rankings based on the number of Abby awards it bagged has changed, but how does one change the official printed tally at this stage?
Industry watchers must have wondered at the way destinies change. While one doesn't want to speculate on how much BBC paid for its stake in Filmfare and Femina, one is reasonably certain it was a pretty large amount. To think that under ten years ago, these two titles were seen as basket cases and the management was ready to mothball them. Today, they have really earned their keep.
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