MediAvataar's News Desk
Ranking is an integral part of every race, be it in business, sports, politics or any other discipline. We all run races to win and get acknowledged and the fact that we run races everyday for everything we do make it even more important for all of us. And in such races rankings play a pivotal part in every business enterprise functioning. The advertising business is one such industry where the race is stiff and photo finishes are prevalent.
Provided the referees are adopting mechanisms that enable the ranking to be fair, credible and unbiased through systems and analysis that are robust, and accepted by the industry without any questions.
The Ranking Game
Agency Ranking in India started with A&M, then the premier magazine on Advertising & Marketing and rankings, acknowledging frontline players in the late 80’s. The listing was based on the Gross Incomegenerated by agencies and capitalised billing.
This was strictly a ranking, based on the gross revenue generated, and therefore only a financial performance ranking.
Globally, even today, this is the way ranking of ad agencies and their Holding Companies are done. In India, very few agencies are publicly quoted on Stock Market companies, and therefore A&M those days resorted to asking agencies to submit their Balance Sheets duly attested in original by the CA Firm basedin-charge of the audit in order to rank the company. This methodology continued till early millennium, but by then A&M was a sinking ship.
The era of Advertising Portals began with AgencyFaqs (afaqs.com) and Exchange4media.com. None of them took up cudgels over agency ranking as they possibly found it difficult to be non-controversial, unbiased, authentic and credible. Advertising pundits in the country started questioning the ‘gross income methodology’adoptedbyA&Mas advertising after all is a creative business.
The other school of intellectuals also tried to argue that awards won alone cannotbe the benchmark of creative agencies as ‘Award winning advertising’ is often created for ‘winning Awards’ and not necessarily for the brand.
The “Noble” Equity
The questionable methodologies of ranking thus far resulted in a modified (at least easy to justify) initiative bythe Brand Equity of ranking agencies, the “Agency Reckoner” (creative, media, digital, production houses, design agencies, influential people in creative’s and media etc.) based on the agency’s ‘brand image and reputation’.
We moved from the extremely tangible parameter of financial ( gross income) yardstick to the other end of extremely intangible parameters ( reputation, brand image, proactivity, broad spectrum services, providing effective strategic and creative solutions, et al ) as perceived & judged by some industry professionals chosen by one research agency.
Sample size break-ups per city and other choice parameters are unclear. Without casting aspersions, there has been a traditional bias towards Mumbai based agencies for instance as traditionally Mumbai was considered the Mecca of advertising since the seventies.The situation today is a bit different. In last 20 years, cities like Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, and Hyderabad have caught up big.EvenLarge cities like Kanpur, Surat, Baroda, Ahmedabad, Indore, and many more are today contributing substantiallyto the advertising pie
The present methodology adopted for yearly ranking of agencies are based on qualitative surveys on totally intangible factors by a sample size less than miniscule, and the fates of creative agencies, media houses, digital agencies, production houses and professionals are summarily decided one bright morning and headlined on the D-Day every year in June or July.
Agency rankings are important and helpful for the industry. . But there needs to be a far more credible, robust and unbiased methodology to arrive at the rankings. And it should be a mix of tangibles and intangibles. Financial performance cannot be wished away. Gross incomes of agencies, status and size of clients and brands they handle, client’s brand loyalty with an agency ( number of years they have worked together ) the infra-structure the agency, client satisfaction, new business gained and businesses lostby agencies, and many moresuchissues can be evaluated fairly. Of course, Awards, the reputation of top professionals behind the agency, the breakthrough ideas, campaigns or innovations they have created in that year, and many more intangible parameters need to be factored in as well.
As an important advertising industry issue this can’t be leftto one research agency and one media house. There are bodies like the Advertising Agencies’ Association of India ( AAAI), in which leading professionals are actively associated in the AAAI Executive Committee and who can apply themselves to work on a more robust structure and set guidelines for agency rankings in active co-ordination with Brand Equity and A C Neilsen who have been doing surveys with professionals. ISA (Indian Society of Advertisers) can be roped in to advice and guide through a joint committee of AAAI & ISA.
Let us professionals not act like Ostriches digging our heads in the sand when we are all aware that all is not right in the structure and methodology of Agency Ranking in India.
This is an important industry issue and I hope this will be treated by my peers and colleagues in the industry as a matter that need the attention of top minds of professionals and bodies like AAAI and ISA to apply themselves to work on more robust methodologies for Agency Ranking in future.
Written by Tapas Gupta Founder& MD BEI Confluence Communication Ltd. (Formerly President & CEO of a McCann-Erickson agency)
Superhits 93.5 RED FM has launched a brand-new jingle reverberating the voice of today’s millennials, in collaboration with Bollywood music composer Tanishk Bagchi.
Perpetuating the station’s signature Bajaate Raho attitude, the new jingle recreates the magic of rustic flavor of Indian music along with edginess of an urban new-age rap. Reinforcing the listening experience and being ahead of the latest trend, RED FM aims to give fresh sound to the station and make the listening experience better. As the taste of music lovers keep evolving over time, contemporary fusion and experimental music have found its audience amongst today’s youth. RED FM’s new jingle captures that essence of liberation that contemporary music offers to its listeners. https://we.tl/t-Dt2xT1ab0M
Understanding the need to refresh its sound, RED FM has teamed up with the composer of the moment Tanishk Bagchi. He has a series of hits like the Humma Song (OK Jaanu), Tamma Tamma (Badrinath Ki Dulhania), Hawa Hawai 2.0 (Tumhari Sulu), and many more to his credit.
Speaking on the jingle launch Nisha Narayanan, COO, RED FM, said, “At RED FM, we have always believed in being original, expressive and unconventional. Our target listeners are predominantly the youth and we have always kept the sound of the station very contemporary and in-tune with the sound the youth is hooked to. Our new jingle is peppy and unconventional and we are sure that our listeners will get hooked to it. Tanishk Bagchi has composed a fantastic jingle and given RED FM a completely new and fresh sound.”
Commenting on the collaboration, Tanishk Bagchi stated, “I had a fantastic time composing this Jingle. The sound is a fine blend of Urban and Desi Music, just like the music we listen to. Also, composing the sound for a big Radio network like RED FM which will be played pan India puts a lot of responsibility on one’s shoulders, and I hope I have done justice to it. The entire process was extremely exciting, and the Jingle sounds uplifting and peppy! I would also like to thank Vayu for his contribution without the jingle may not have come out the way it has. He has had an important role to play in the way this jingle has shaped up.”
Announces the appointment of Mani Lamba as India Practice Chair – Corporate & Financial practice, Vishal Gaba as Head – Digital Studio and Pierre Fitter as Head – Integrated Hub. Also reinforces the media newsroom team with key appointments in Bangalore and Gurugram
Genesis Burson-Marsteller, a leading public relations and public affairs consultancy, announced key appointments it has made to its leadership in the areas of public relations, digital, content and design, and media. GBM, which has been pushing boundaries for 25 years and delivering integrated communications services to some of the best global and Indian companies, has made these appointments to strengthen its integrated offering.
Mani Lamba has been appointed as the India Practice Chair for the Corporate & Financial practice. Mani brings with her 17+ years of agency, corporate and industry association and government experience. As the India Practice Chair, Mani will be responsible for ensuring business growth of the Corporate & Financial business in line with the firm’s strategy, providing leadership and counsel to the teams and clients.
Vishal Gaba returns to GBM as Head – Digital Studio. Vishal began his career with GBM in its Associate Learning Programme (ALP). With over 11 years of experience, Vishal has managed a broad range of communication mandates as well as helped create the firm’s unique offering for startups, Step Up. He then moved to explore his entrepreneurial spirit and set up his own entertainment technology start-up. In his new role, as Head of Digital Studio, Vishal will work with teams across practices and businesses to deliver impactful digital campaigns for clients.
Pierre Fitter, who joined GBM in August last year from a digital agency, now takes on a new mantle as Head – Integrated Hub, a new position created to bring in sharper focus on creative content and design to deliver integrated campaigns for our clients. Pierre has over 14 years of communications experience across print, electronic and digital newsrooms and agencies.
GBM also strengthens its media newsroom team. Led by Arijit Banerjee, the team is made of former journalists who work with the GBM Live! Newsroom to support client teams in understanding and interacting with a rapidly evolving media landscape to deliver better media outcomes for their campaigns. Recently, the team was expanded with the appointment of Biju Dwarakanath as the Media Head in Bangalore and Manoj Sharma to support the team in Gurugram. Biju, who moved to GBM from Thomson Reuters, has worked as a reporter and editor in diverse media, including TV, print, magazine and newswire, and in many key cities in India and abroad, including a stint with an English-language newspaper in Beijing. Manoj has worked with the country’s leading media houses such as Star News (Now known as ABP News), DD News and Aaj Tak in senior editorial positions as an anchor and reporter.
Announcing these appointments, Prema Sagar, CEO & Founder, Genesis Burson-Marsteller said, “With these appointments, we have further strengthened our integrated offering, increasing our capabilities both in breadth and depth. Each appointment has been made keeping in mind the evolving needs of our clients. We have always been a firm focused on constantly looking ahead and thinking about what next, not just for ourselves, but for our clients. I am confident that these leaders will help us further deliver on that ‘next’ impactfully.”
MUFTI, India’s leading clothing and fashion brand has announced the appointment of Vipul Mathur as the company’s Chief Operating Officer.
He brings in 20 years of experience in brand management, retail operations and merchandising and was previously employed at reputed organizations such as Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Ltd., Madura Fashion and Lifestyle and Van Heusen among other companies. Prior to joining MUFTI, Vipul worked as the Brand Head for SKULT, before which he was the Chief BNM (Buying and Merchandising) Officer with Aditya Birla Online Fashion (ABOF).
A B.Tech graduate, Vipul completed his post-graduation from the Goa Institute of Management. In his current role at MUFTI, he will be responsible to augment consumer experiences and propel the brand towards a stronger growth.
Speaking about bringing Vipul on board, Kamal Khushlani, Founder & Managing Director - Credo Brands Marketing PVT LTD. said, “We are delighted to have Vipul as a new addition to our top management team. MUFTI is a renowned brand that believes in innovation and originality, thereby providing exceptional products to customers. In the past two decades, we have built a deep and strong consumer loyalty which has led us to be one of India’s most profitable brands. With the 300th store opening this year, we are confident of garnering sales of more than 4 million garments in the next 12 months. Vipul’s credentials and deep understanding about brands will play a crucial role in building MUFTI as the first global fashion brand with Indian roots.”
Commenting on his appointment Vipul Mathur, Chief Operating Officer, MUFTI Credo Brands Mktg. Pvt. Ltd. said, “I look forward to embarking on a new chapter in my career with the largest Indian denim brand. With the branding landscape becoming immensely cluttered and competitive, it is stimulating to come up with fresh and unique ideas for a brand in order to stand out. MUFTI has a very strong product offering and a supply chain system, which makes it a very stable organization and brand. My focus will be to enhance consumer experience at all touch points with the brand and expand its product offering to make it a true lifestyle brand. I strongly believe that MUFTI will cross the 1000 crore mark 4 years from now. It is exhilarating to be part of the company during this exciting journey.”
An industry veteran, Vipul will be succeeding Mr. Harbir Singh Sidhu who has helped direct MUFTI towards becoming a national success.
WPP announces that its wholly owned global digital agency, Wunderman, has acquired a majority stake in Emark, the marketing technology performance company.
Emark delivers Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Commerce Cloud, Service Cloud, DMP, and advertising technology such as Facebook Advertising and Google Ads, as a single, integrated solution.
The acquisition further strengthens WPP’s and Wunderman’s growing global Salesforce practice in delivering marketing and advertising technology solutions for data-driven and personalised customer interaction.
Founded in 2000, Emark is recognised as a preeminent provider of Salesforce multi-cloud strategy and solutions in Europe, with a strong Marketing Cloud pedigree. Headquartered in Haarlem, Netherlands with international offices located in Barcelona, London and Poland, the company employs around 120 people and serves a wide range of clients across sectors including Bugaboo, ECCO Shoes, Marks & Spencer, Randstad, Scotch & Soda, and The Macallan.
Wunderman is the world-leading digital agency whose mission is to inspire people to take action. It brings together 9,200 creatives, data scientists, strategists and technologists in 200 offices in 70 markets.