afaqs!

Revival of the third: Ogilvy resurrects David

By Neha Kalra , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising | July 29, 2009
After Ogilvy and Meridian, David becomes the third offering under the Ogilvy umbrella, and the one to make a comeback after two years of its merger with Bates Enterprise

It seems that Ogilvy's agency, David, had never left the heart of the Ogilvians, and so, it's back. Two years ago, David, the second agency of Ogilvy (then Ogilvy & Mather), was merged with another WPP agency, Bates Enterprise, to form Bates David Enterprise. Bates 141, as it is now known, dropped the name David in May 2008.

Speaking about the rejuvenation of David, Piyush Pandey, executive chairperson and national creative director, O&M India, explains that David never really left Ogilvy. He says, "It has always been an entity and a brand which had been close to our hearts - and this time, when we saw the opportunity, we thought - why not get it back to life?"

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The setting up of the reincarnated David begins from the Delhi office of Ogilvy, and will gradually pick up in other cities as well. For starters, it has already won the creative duties of Dabur's new health shampoo - Total Protect.

After David was dissolved, Meridian was set up as the second agency of Ogilvy in 2006 - the first branch was set up in Bengaluru. Later, it spread to Mumbai and Delhi in 2007 and 2008 respectively.

With Ogilvy and Meridian already catering to varied and competing clients, what exactly will David, the third agency, cater to? Is there a need for a third agency at all?

In the words of Sanjay Thapar, group president, North and East and Pandey, David will provide 'straight, fast' service to the clients, without missing out on the creativity and excellence of Ogilvy.

"When we spoke to a few clients, they were of the view that small agencies were able to release and churn out work more quickly. Considering those needs, David has been revived," reveals Thapar.

However, he explains that a clear philosophy for David, and the direction in which the agency will take off, is yet to be decided. The group has also not decided whether David will look after only the creative aspect of advertising, or other fields such as below-the-line, digital and integrated marketing.

Pandey reveals that the ambitions for David are quite strong - they may look at re-launching the brand across the region.

For the record, David got its name in 2005 after being re-christened from RMG David. In 2007, David and Bates Enterprise came together to form Bates David Enterprise. Once the Bates-David merger took place, the businesses of David were split between Ogilvy and Bates.

Josy Paul, who was spearheading David at that time, put in his papers due to his steadfast belief in 'collaborations' rather than mergers - he later joined BBDO, which had entered the country at about that time.

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