Sumita Vaid

Ashish Bhatnagar of Universal McCann moves to Zenith Media

Ashish Bhatnagar, who was with Universal McCann for the past two years, has moved to Zenith Media’s Delhi office as business director

The past few months have been a mixed bag for Zenith Media. While on the one hand the media agency - now under the Group M banner, following WPP's purchase of Cordiant Communications Group last year - won the staggering Rs 80-crore media duties of LG Electronics, on the other, it had to forsake the Hyundai AOR to Madison Media.

Tumultuous though the times may be, the good news for the agency is that it is attracting talent, which perhaps may be indicative of interesting times to come. Ashish Bhatnagar - who had spent two years at Universal McCann as the head buying and implementation planning for the Nestle and L'Oreal AORs - has moved to Zenith's Delhi office. At Zenith, Bhatnagar will be business director for LML, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited and Maxima Watches (PA Time Industries), and in his new role, would be overseeing the team on the three accounts.

Bhatnagar does not hedge around when asked for reasons for leaving Universal McCann in favour of Zenith. Praveen Tripathi, he spells out his reason in two words, referring to Zenith's CEO. Yes, better prospects might have also been a crucial factor, however, "My only motivation was Praveen Tripathi, as I had with worked with him when I was at Starcom, and he was then managing director of Starcom India," he says. Bhatnagar started his career with The Times of India, Lucknow, in 1996. Four years later, Bhatnagar shifted base to Mumbai and joined Starcom in 2000, where he met Tripathi. At Starcom, Bhatnagar was heading print buying. In February 2002, Bhatnagar moved to Universal McCann, Delhi.

Before WPP bought out the ailing Cordiant Communications Group, Zenith Media, in India, was a fully-owned media agency of Bates India (in other countries, Zenith was set up either by Bates, Publicis or Saatchi & Saatchi). Following Cordiant's buyout by WPP, Zenith Media India became a fully-owned subsidiary of WPP, and now operates on par with Maximize and MindShare, under the Group M banner. After a change in ownership and changes at the helm here in India, one anticipates exciting times ahead for the media agency… © 2004 agencyfaqs!

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