Prajjal Saha & Devina Joshi

Mumbai ad world gets back into action after cloud burst

Most agencies had to reschedule their meetings and presentations because of the downpour, and to make it worse, a few of them even had a financial setback

Last week, Mumbai was entirely paralysed due to the cloud burst. The city's ad-world was no exception. While a few agencies even suffered financial losses, there were a handful lucky ones, which were unaffected except for disruption in their daily routine.

Among the few agencies, which were the worst-hit due to this torrent, was Rediffusion DYR. The agency’s chief operating officer, Debadatta Sen says, “We were out of action for a week. The power connection hasn’t been restored as yet.”

Sen also admits that the agency has suffered a financial setback. He says, “The whole city was submerged under water and it was almost impossible to work. We lost a few businesses here and there because of the rains.”

Rediffusion DYR, which handles Mumbai's latest newspaper DNA, had a tough time as the newspaper was scheduled to be launched on Saturday in Mumbai.

Even JWT suffered a major setback due to the heavy rains. Anuj Mehra, vice-president, client servicing director, JWT, says, “We were in the middle of conducting a research for Rin. The research involved sharing ideas with consumers for the launch of a new campaign. We had to put things on hold as we couldn’t continue with the research due to the rains.”

“The research was done simultaneously across other Asian countries. While Thailand and Vietnam have already presented their findings, we have been forced to start all over again. Consequently, the entire campaign got delayed. In addition, we also had to postpone the work on a new campaign for Sunsilk Shampoo,” he adds.

Lowe was among the few lucky ones, which wasn’t much affected. Sanjai Srivastava, vice-president, Lowe, says, “We were lucky that there wasn’t any big loss in terms of billing as most of our campaigns were already on-air. However, some major launches, which were scheduled for last week, were postponed by a fortnight. In addition, some of the prospective clients, who had called for a pitch, rescheduled the date of presentation by a week. We were saved.”

Arpita Menon, general manager, Lodestar Media, says, “A certain product was scheduled to be launched in Gujarat last week. Even as we were struck in the rains, we somehow managed to get the campaign released in three Gujarati dailies and one national newspaper by working from home.”

Among other media agencies, Madison was also fortunate. Punitha Arumugam, group CEO, Madison Media, says, “We couldn’t reach our offices but we were in touch with each other through mobile phones. And, we had to make up the loss working on Saturday. There were some issues in delivering tapes to the channels, but those were minor ones that we sorted out. We were lucky that we didn’t have any presentations lined up. Also being the end of month, we were almost through with all the space bookings.”

Josy Paul, national creative director, rmg david, claims that his agency hasn’t been affected by the rains at all. He says, “Thankfully, there are no billing losses. We were also lucky as there weren’t any film or photography shoots scheduled last week. However, two of our pitches got postponed. The clients have really been very understanding.”

Paul shares an interesting experience that he had on the fateful day, July 26. “We were in the middle of a presentation, when nature unleashed its fury. Believe it or not, we had to continue with the presentation in the dark as there was no electricity. We ended up sleeping in the same boardroom, where we made the presentation. It was the longest pitch of my life.”

Continuing with his positive approach, Josy comments, “All our boys were on the job. The positive aspect was that we got a chance to work, while we could catch our breath, prioritise our work, and think of more ideas. But the best part was when we met up with our clients in an informal set-up. We realised that even clients are human beings as the client-agency wall came down due to the heavy rains.”

© 2005 agencyfaqs!