Slowdown? McCann, Dentsu are hiring like crazy

27 Sep,2011

By Ratna Bhushan & Neha Dewan


After a lull of about two years, largescale hiring is back in advertising agencies such as McCann Erickson and Dentsu. McCann Erickson has recruited at least 50 people over the past two months, 30 of them at the senior level, to service new businesses like Aircel and General Motors , a person familiar with the matter said . Dentsu is in the process of recruiting 15 senior-level officials and more at the junior level as it revamps its business.


McCann Worldgroup Executive Chairman Mr Prasoon Joshi said the size of his agency’s India operations has grown by about 40% and business from its Delhi branch alone has almost doubled this year . “The new talent we have brought in is completely growth driven ,” he said. In the past few months , McCann Erickson has bagged some big accounts such as telecom services provider Aircel , auto major General Motors and paints maker ICI Dulux.


Dentsu India Group Executive Chairman Mr Rohit Ohri , who quit the country’s largest ad agency JWT this June to join Dentsu , said he will hire 15 people at the VP and higher levels across its nine offices in the country , besides hiring at junior levels. “We are looking at restructuring the agency and creating the Dentsu India group holding company ,” he said.


All agencies including Dentsu Communications, Dentsu Creative Impact and Dentsu Marcom will report to this company. But he denied rumours of poaching people from JWT as had been the buzz earlier. McCann’s recent top-level hires include executive director Mr Alok Lall , planning head for Delhi Mr Jitendra Dabas , who moved from JWT , creative directors Mr Mayur Hola and Mr Anshumani Khanna, who came from Ogilvy and Mudra , respectively , and senior VP Mr Ashish Bahl. They will mostly service the big ticket accounts the agency has won in recent months.


The Aircel account is estimated at Rs 200 crore while the GM account could be worth close to Rs 150 crore . This is the first time the US carmaker consolidated its brands Beat, Cruz, Optra, Spark and Captiva with a single agency. McCann won the deal after a four-month-long pitch .


Other new businesses with McCann this year include ACC Cement, Britannia Dairy, History Channel, Parx from Raymonds, quick service restaurant chain Subway and mobile phone brand Lava. Globally , there is a freeze on recruitments across many leading agency groups such as WPP, Publicis and IPG.


In 2009 , the world’s largest agency group network WPP, with agencies like JWT, Ogilvy & Mather, Young & Rubicam and Grey in its fold, had laid off 14,000 employees , and in fact that year the ad industry saw layoffs amounting to 200,000 jobs. WPP Group Chief Executive Sir Martin Sorrell had said in an email to employees that any job offers made but not accepted must be withdrawn immediately .


But in India, agencies have been hiring on and off on account of new businesses. Ms Usha Hephzibah, promoter and owner of Head & Tail Hunters, a search firm specialising in recruitments for advertising and media , said : “Tremendous hiring is happening at all positions, from top to bottom, in the advertising industry.” Agencies such as Leo Burnett said they are doing limited hiring, depending on requirement . “There has been no large scale hiring; we haven’t done it in bursts,” Leo Burnett Executive Director Mr Samir Gangahar said. He said the agency hired 4-5 people in Delhi last month .


Source:The Economic Times

Copyright © 2011, Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. All Rights Reserved

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