Anil Thakraney: And, Bobby Pawar is back.

03 Jun,2013

By Anil Thakraney


Good for Bobby Pawar. The Ford scandal during his last job at JWT doesn’t seem to have dented his reputation one bit. He’s now been lapped up by Publicis, and life goes on as usual. Hopefully this time around, Pawar will set up tight controls within his agency to monitor ads created solely to win awards.


Incidentally, right after the Ford howler, I had a drink with a few ad pals, and as it often happens, we ended up talking shop. Everyone unanimously agreed that Pawar will be back in action, very soon, at another large agency. No, this wasn’t the consensus because the man is talented (which he must be), but because we all felt this is what happens in India, somehow the powerful people manage to survive scandals. Look at politics, for example. Despite a series of scams, the tainted leaders remain untouched. And the few who do get sacked, find their way back into the power corridors in good time. India is a forgiving nation. So that explains it.


The negative outcome of this situation, of course, is that it encourages rubbish behaviour. In the advertising context, Pawar’s return sends out a strong signal to the rest of the ad world: Take your chances, buggers. Keep encouraging scam ads, you will be rewarded. And if you do get caught with your pants down, chillax for a while, take the much-delayed holiday to that exotic location. Sooner or later you will find yourself back in the saddle.


Before I wrap up, two quick points on Bobby Pawar: I don’t know the man at all, have never worked with him, haven’t even had the opportunity to say hello to him. So I have no personal grouse with him, it could have been any other creative director in his place. It is also quite possible that he had no knowledge of the controversial Ford ads created by his juniors, and therefore wasn’t personally responsible for them. Perhaps Pawar’s a great guy, and good luck to him on his new assignment.


My only little problem: That it will be business as usual in the Indian ad world. Like nothing ever happened. Sad.




PS: My shortlist for the next season of Bigg Boss. Feel free to add your recommendation: S Sreesanth, Gurunath Meiyappan, Pavan Bansal, Phaneesh Murthy, Chandresh (Jupiter) Jain, Ankeet Chavan, Mrs Ankeet Chavan, Ajit Chandela, Suresh Kalmadi, Niira Radia, A Raja, Sudipta Sen, Abhijit Mukherji, Vindoo Dara Singh, Kshitij Thakur, N Srinivasan, Varun Gandhi, Justice Katju.


Anil Thakraney is a senior journalist and commentator. He is also Editor-at-Large, MxMIndia. The views expressed here are his own. He can be reached via Twitter at @anilthakraney


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