afaqs!

Dentsu India launches social communication arm citizendentsu

By Khushboo Tanna , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | April 30, 2009
citizendentsu will handle government and semi government clients and will be headquartered in Delhi

Dentsu India has launched citizendentsu, a new division for social communication, government and semi government clients as well as for the corporate social responsibility (CSR) programmes of its corporate clients.

The new division is headquartered in Delhi and will have offices in Mumbai and Bengaluru. Nagendra Choudhary is the director of citizendentsu and he will be working closely with Shivanand Mohanty aka Doc and Harish Arora, who will be oversee the creatives as executive creative directors.

& #BANNER1 & #Generally, agencies have specialised divisions to cater to specific media such as retail or out of home and not divisions catering to the category of clients. Choudhary explains the rationale behind the move and says, "Product or brand messages aim at consumers while social messages aim at citizens. citizendentsu has been specifically created to address this and to craft messages that reach to the citizen in every consumer."

Sandeep Goyal, chairperson, Dentsu India, says, "There is a growing need to speak not just to consumers as consumers, but to consumers as citizens of India and citizendentsu will be our specialised arm that will help with societal communications that is somewhat different from commercial communications."

Currently, citizendentsu handles communications for the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Delhi Development Authority, Delhi Government, HLL Lifecare, Hindustan Latex Family Planning Promotion Trust, Ministry of Tourism, National Aids Control Organization (TSG), Delhi Police, Indian Oil - Corporate Communications (HQ), Refineries Division, Delhi, Corporate Communications (marketing division), Western Division, Mumbai and Southern Division (marketing), Chennai.

In fact, citizendentsu has already released its first campaign for the Technical Support Group (TSG) of the National Aids Control Organisation (NACO). The campaign, called Condom- It's OK, aims to increase consistent condom use among males between the ages of 18 and 30 years for prevention of STDs, unwanted pregnancies and HIV/AIDS by normalising the use of condoms.

Over the past couple of years, some brands have worked towards informing people that using the word 'condom' in public is acceptable. For instance, Lowe Lintas had done a campaign called 'Bindas Bol' for ICICI Bank and Private Sector Partnership - One (PSP-One) of the US Agency for International Development (USAID). Similarly, last year, BBC World Service Trust released a campaign, called Jo bola wohi Sikandar, which urged people to be confident while using the word 'condom' in public.

Mohanty says, "Many condom campaigns have tried to make condoms familiar. However, most have remained at the level of 'say the word'. Our new campaign takes a step further by saying that not only is it OK to say it, it's OK to be seen with a condom."