Chalo Dilli, as Ad Club drops Bombay

27 Sep,2012


By Tuhina Anand


As the Advertising Club Bombay gears up to don a new avatar, the crucial question is: will it help the industry? And will the industry accept the new inclusiveness? Ad Club Bombay has been looking at expanding its footprint and in its bid had last year held some of its judging for Effies in Delhi. Shashi Sinha, the President of the renamed The Advertising Club (till yesterday The Advertising Club Bombay) has been vociferous in the Ad Club’s demand to have a more inclusive approach, especially including the Delhi NCR advertising fraternity.


Shashi Sinha

In fact, their priority has been to bring Delhi under their ambit and not other cities like Bengaluru, Chennai, Kochi or Kolkata. One of the reasons for setting their eyes on Delhi is that the capital is a key market for the adfrat, considering that most of the agencies have offices there and some even their head offices. The other reason for extending their footprint could be the functioning of the Delhi Advertising Club (DAC).


It is no secret that many in the ad fraternity in Delhi NCR prefer to stay from DAC activities. Its awards, one of the key events for any Ad Club, are not a patch in comparison to the Abby by Ad Club Bombay. When MxMIndia called the DAC office in Delhi, President RC Tanwar seemed miffed and said, “I am the President of Delhi Ad Club and we have given no right to anyone to decide on how DAC should function. I think people from Mumbai should realize that DAC is much more active than their counterparts. We don’t just have awards but other events too. What is Ad Club Bombay about – Goafest?” He categorically said, “We will never partner with Ad Club Bombay; they can have their own plans and we are not interested to be part of those.” However, though Mr Tanwar said he would reply to MxMIndia’s questions, he did not do so.


While there have been issues in the past like the awards leaks in Goafest, the awards process has been cleansed in the last two years. One cannot also overlook the fact that Ad Club Bombay (now The Advertising Club) is a formidable force and includes some of the big names from the industry. Its Managing Committee has enviable names on board and there is no ignoring that.


Prathap Suthan

It may be recalled that a few years ago Prathap Suthan had floated The Delhi Alternative (Alt Delhi) a platform that gave an opportunity to fraternity from Delhi to come together. The initiative is still going strong. Mr Suthan on the current development said, “On Ad Club Bombay becoming The Advertising Club, my take is very simple. It is a good thing. It is the right thing. Just that this should have been done ages ago. It just underlines the fact that Delhi is actually growing into a market that has already or will soon become larger than Mumbai. It is almost that they suddenly don’t want to miss the boat. Unfortunately rebranding isn’t going to change geography. And I personally think intercity rivalry is healthy, positive and must be sustained.”


He added, “Alt Del isn’t an idea that was ever set up to challenge the Bombay Ad Club or the Delhi Ad Club. It was and is still a growing forum away from the industry to promote the coming together of communication professionals, much larger than just advertising. Plus the fact that it is also alive on FB with members from across India. It was led by a leadership of senior people from different facets of communication, and set up for individuals to interact, learn, network and enrich their advertising quotient. We wanted to supplement learning through workshops, meetings and exhibitions. There has been zero support from any agency, corporate, media house etc and it has been running only on the collective steam and money of our leadership. Until now we have had a few workshops, great participation, excellent quality, and wonderful feedback. Now that winter is here in Delhi, Alt Del is planning to make the best use of it.”


Rahul Kishore

The Delhi and Mumbai competition that Mr Suthan has mentioned seems to be playing on the fraternity’s mind. Rahul Kishore, Senior VP – Priority Projects, Mogae Media, commented, “The move seems to be a sensible one as there are Ad Clubs that are present all over the country. I see no reason why it should be referred to as Ad Club Bombay only. However, I’d like to add here that most advertising agencies today operate out of Gurgaon.”


Sathyamurthy Namakkal, President, DDB MudraMax, Media, said, “I think we are reading too much into the whole situation. Delhi is an important market with lots of advertisers being based out of the city so it is a gesture to have more representation in the Ad Club than it to give it more weight than required.”


Sathyamurthy Namakkal

As for some of the Ad Clubs around India, The Advertising Club Bangalore has been pretty active. It holds its yearly awards fest called Big Bang. It also conducts lot of sporting events that have been popular at the advertising festivals. Among its events is one called Melting Pot that encourages participation from creative teams to come up with a public service campaign.


Talking about an issue that Ad Club Bangalore faces, Arvind Kumar, Executive Director of the Ad Club said, “For the awards we get entries from small and medium agencies but there is reluctance on the part of bigger agencies to participate, citing that their companies’ `unwritten’ policy bars them from entering any Indian awards. This is a major dampener as the participation from bigger agencies would certainly help in raising the quality of entries. It would also help the creative people from those agencies get wider recognition.


The Advertising Club Cochin has been fairly robust considering that it has 400-500 members. Sandeep Nayar, President of Ad Club Cochin, said, “We have at least one event planned for each month that includes creative competitions, sports events and workshops among others.” The Ad Club is 15-16 years old and its biggest property is the Pepper Awards – the awards night for the creative fraternity from Kerala. Mr Nayar in fact seemed open to any collaboration with other Ad Clubs across the country that would give them a wider platform to showcase works from down South.


In the end, it’s not about which city is better. The move by the Ad Club Bombay can only help the fraternity, in Delhi NCR in particular. A move that helps the industry has to be taken in the right spirit.


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2 responses to “Chalo Dilli, as Ad Club drops Bombay”

  1. No problem How much club in India. But we want creative development of all.

  2. anwesh bose says:

    “aakhir tumhey aana thaa…bas thodi der lagi hai” For the records, Delhi NCR is a bigger advertising market than Mumbai today and the company which is the largest advertiser in this country is Govt. of India. On the matter of inclusiveness, we at Delhi NCR shall wait to see how many A&M professionals from this part of the country are represented. Look forward & Welcome to the National Capital – AC(B).