afaqs! news bureau

How did advertising and marketing fare in 2022?

A brief recap of the most memorable moments in 2022.

Advertising does not just involve making ads and marketing isn't selling people services, products, aspirations, and hope, it also makes for some interesting news. 

Be it dentsu India’s twists and turns, which can rival an Abbas Mustan movie, or PepsiCo leaving WPP after 37 years for rival Publicis’ Leo Burnett, there was no dearth of eye-catching stuff this year. 

Here are some of the best bits from the industry afaqs! covered in 2022.  

Agency Updates 

  • dentsu India’s dizzying year continued. 

1. While winning top laurels at Cannes Lions, dentsu international merged all its creative agencies into one single global network — Dentsu Creative. It won Agency of the Year, India's first, at the Cannes Lions.

2. The global agency holding network no longer has an international CEO. It dropped the designation after Wendy Clark quit the role in September.

3. dentsu India continued to see top leadership quit and at the same time welcomed new faces.

4. Dentsu Webchutney, the creative agency behind The Unfiltered History Tour, witnessed an exodus of talent to the creative agency Talented co-founded by former Webchutney hands Gautam Reghunath and PG Aditya.

5. The biggest wave of Webchutney’s exodus came with founder Sidharth Rao’s exit from dentsu India. He went on to co-found Punt, a martech company. 

6. Santosh Padhi, co-founder and chief creative officer of Taproot Dentsu, quit and joined Weiden + Kennedy as its chief creative in February. The independent agency announced it would, along with an existing Delhi office, open shop in Mumbai. 

  • The Glitch co-founders Varun Duggirala and Rohit Raj quit the creative agency they had launched in 2009. It was acquired by WPP in 2017 and integrated into VMLY&R in 2020 and saw CEO Pooja Jauhari quit this year too.

  • BBH India saw Leo Burnett chief Dheeraj Sinha take over the agency's reins as chairman, CEO, and CSO. Erstwhile leader Subhash Kamat moved into an advisory role while Russell Barrett bid adieu to the agency.

  • MullenLowe Lintas Group, in a surprise move, announced the elevation of chief strategist Subramanyeswar S (Subbu) as CEO. Amer Jaleel, CCO and chairman and Virat Tandon, group CEO, have also left the Group. This news broke soon after Jaleel’s thoughts on idea ownership took adland by storm.

  • Logicserve Digital rebranded itself as LS Digital and announced a stake in digital marketing agency Langoor, which in June announced its breakup from parent company Havas Group three years after joining its family.

  • RK Swamy and BBDO parted ways after a 37-year-old partnership. The split was amicable and happened because RK Swamy Hansa group wanted to bring its various business entities under one roof.

  • Sumanto Chattopadhyay, the former chairman and chief creative officer of 82.5 Communications, retired from advertising after three decades. He is writing a book. 

Controversial ads

  • Fragrance brand Layer’r Shot was called out for promoting sexual assault against women in its ads. The I&B Ministry ordered the ads to be removed from all media amid extreme criticism from all corners.

  • Aamir Khan once again found himself in a controversy when his ad for AU Bank with Kiara Advani was bashed for supposedly insulting Hindu customs. The bank pulled down the ad immediately after the criticism and trolling started.

  • People criticised Byju’s and its founders after it announced Lionel Messi as a brand ambassador a day or two after laying off thousands of employees. 

Account Movements 

  • PepsiCo, after ending its 30-year-old relationship with WPP, handed over its creative mandate to Publicis-owned Leo Burnett that also won Meta’s corporate account this year.

  • IPG Mediabrands won ITC’s media and digital duties from GroupM’s Wavemaker. The account size was worth Rs 600 crore. 

The marketer movements 

  • Anil Viswanathan, Mondelez India’s vice president of marketing, was elevated to the role of managing director of Vietnam and Southeast Asia in October. He spent nearly nine years leading the India business for Mondelez.

  • Vivek Sharma, Pidilite Industries’ CMO left the company in April after a seven-year stint. He moved to FIXCRAFT, a car and repair service, as a marketing advisor. Britannia VP marketing Vinay Subramanyam replaced him at the adhesive manufacturing company.

  • Amit Doshi joined Britannia Industries as its chief marketing officer in January after an eight-and-a-half-year stint at Lenovo where his last designation was CMO for India and South Asia. 

  • Aditi Anand moved from The Coca-Cola Company, where she was its head of creative strategy for India and Southwest Asia, to join L’Oréal Professionnel as head of marketing in December. 

  • Godrej Consumer Products Limited (GCPL) former CMO Somasree Bose Awasthi joined Marico as its new chief marketing officer in November. She’s also an executive committee member of the consumer goods company. 

  • Shagun Seda, Netflix’s marketing director of films and series, stepped down in December. Seda joined the video streamer in November 2020; she was in charge of the overall marketing of the company’s India content, brand, and talent.

  • Packaged foods and beverages company Wingreens Group appointed Pawan Sarda as its CMO and D2C head in July. Before this appointment, Sarda was group CMO of digital, marketing and e-commerce business at Future Group.

  • Siddhant Narayan moved on from OnePlus to head marketing for Nike in India. He had earlier served at Nike in various roles between May 2008 to October 2015.

  • Duroflex’s chief marketing officer Smita Murarka stepped down from her role in December. Murarka joined the sleep solutions firm in February 2020 as vice president of marketing and e-commerce.

  • Manav Sethi, the former chief marketer of Octro, Eros and ALT Balaji joined electric two-wheeler Vida of Hero Motocorp as its head of media, martech and growth for its Emerging Mobility business.

  • Start-ups: 

1. Karan Shroff, who was elevated to edtech Unacademy’s CMO role in September 2020, announced his departure two years later in September.

2. Sai Ganesh, who worked as the marketing lead for the grocery and parcel delivery app Dunzo, resigned in June. He was with the app for the past three years and is now a brand consultant.

3. Edtech giant Vedantu’s head of brand marketing Maninder Bali quit and joined Ogilvy in August. 

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