Over the past month and a half, six advertising chiefs from big boi agencies in India ( JWT, Leo Burnett, DDB Mudra, Grey Worldwide) have bailed on their shops to start their own agencies. Despite the economic slow down, the fellas believe they will be a force to be reckoned with in India.
“Big agencies will suffer more than others. When clients can get the same work done for less money, why wouldn’t they move to newborns or any mid-size agency? Ultimately it’s work that matters to them and not agency brand,” said Santosh Padhi, ex-ECD at Leo Burnett (pictured above).
The defectors have also either started a digital shop or have paired with burgeoning digi-agencies in an attempt to capitalize on a what they perceive is an untapped market in the country. Plus, they’re banking on their “brand name” recognition with CMOs to land them clients.
“Clients basically look for a matching personality with their advertising agenda. That’s why agency name takes a back seat and the adman working on the account becomes more important,” said Jagdish Acharya former ECD at DDB.
The entire list of escapees from the death stars include:
- Agnello Dias (former chief creative director of JWT) and Santosh Padhi (executive creative director, ECD, Leo Burnett) inaugurated their own agency christened TapRoot India.
- Jagdish Acharya (former ECD with DDB Mudra) named his shop, Cut the Crap.
- Sukumar Menon (former ECD with Leo Burnett) created Black Swan Life.
- Brijesh Jacob (former ECD with Grey Worldwide) has gone digital with his agency, 22 Feet, along with a full-service shop called White Canvas.