Advertising veteran and RK Swamy Hansa Group Chairman Srinivasan Swamy was recognised and fêted with South Korea’s highest honour for his significant contribution to the advertising industry at the recently concluded 12th edition of Ad Stars, which was held in Busan, South Korea.

Considered one of the largest advertising festivals, Ad Stars generally receives over 20,000 entries of creative work from around 60 countries. Jury members from as many countries tend to evaluate and award excellence in creativity.

Speaking to BusinessLine , Swamy said that he was happy to be the first Indian to be honoured at the event. “It is gratifying that someone is watching what contribution you have made and continue to make,” he said. “When Ad Stars officials wrote to me about it, I was surprised and happy at the same time,” he added.

Swamy is the Chairman and Managing Director of RK Swamy BBDO, a well known advertising agency. He also is the Chairman of the RK Swamy Hansa Group, which has units such as Hansa Customer Equity, Hansa Research, Hansa Medcell and Hansa Consulting, among others.

The group employs nearly 3,000 people and has revenues of over $100 million, serving over 100 clients.

Swamy currently serves as the Chairman and World President of the International Advertising Association (IAA), the industry body head-quartered in New York, US. He is also the Vice-Chairman of the Asian Federation of Advertising Associations (AFAA).

An industry veteran, Swamy has functioned as the Chairman of the Confederation of Asian Advertising Agency Associations, as well as held eminent posts at the Advertising Agencies Association of India, the Advertising Standards Council of India and the India Chapter of IAA.

Pointing out that the advertising industry is at a transitional phase “with issues of enhanced data privacy regulations that could change the way we communicate with our various target audiences,” Swamy said that it was time ad veterans provide the necessary direction and mentorship to shape the future course of action.

Swamy has also been recognised in various forums for his outstanding contributions to the ad industry, and among other awards was recognised as IAA Global Champion at the inaugural Inspire Awards in London, by IAA Global.