afaqs!

Colvyn Harris calls ET report erroneous and based on exaggerated speculation

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising | May 03, 2010
Reacting to The Economic Times' article on the four agencies that stand the chance to lose their Abby metals, Goafest's management committee calls the report erroneous; investigations into the matter are currently on

The management committee of Goafest, comprising representatives from the Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI) and The Advertising Club Bombay, has stated in an official communiqué that a report carried recently in the economic daily, The Economic Times, about the recent Goafest jury controversy, is erroneous and based on rumour and exaggerated speculation.

On Friday, April 30, the daily reported that Mudra, Leo Burnett, Taproot India and Ogilvy India risk losing their Abby awards, after judges allegedly voted for their own agencies' work.

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The report named Bobby Pawar, chief creative officer, Mudra Group; KV Sridhar, national creative director, Leo Burnett; Santosh Padhi, chairman and chief creative officer, Taproot Indi and Rajeev Rao, national creative director, Ogilvy India as the jury members under investigation.

Rubbishing the report, Colvyn Harris, chief executive officer, JWT India and chairman, Goafest, says, in a press statement, "While it is true that the committee, in conjunction with Ernst & Young, is investigating cases of judges voting for their own agencies' work; no decision has yet been taken on the action related to the issue."

"The article has a list of agencies that are affected as a result of withdrawing metals. This list is inaccurate, as no decision has yet been taken. It also mentions a figure of a judge self-voting 110 times, which is grossly exaggerated," Harris adds.

The jury members named have obviously not taken very kindly to the report either. Talking to afaqs!, Pawar voiced his opinion strongly, calling the report a "misrepresentation of facts". He added that he respected the fact that the committee was conducting a fair investigation.

"An occasional mistake could happen, especially with smaller brands. However, being the chief creative officer of an organisation as big as Mudra, I am not foolish enough to repeat a mistake over and over again," says Pawar.

While Rao refused to comment on the issue; Padhi said that he would reserve his comments till the verdict is out and an official statement made. Sridhar (Pops) has urged for more transparency in the matter, stating that the results of the investigation must be made public.

"A lot of damage has already been done. To restore some credibility and faith, I would urge that the eventual findings of the investigation be made public, to everybody including advertising agencies and the media," Pops says.