Adland bullish on Goafest 2014 with Sundar Swamy incharge

14 Feb,2014

By A Correspondent


We all know of the mess that Goafest, the annual adfest of India’s advertising and marketing services industry, has been in. The Advertising Agencies Association of India delayed the announcement of the date for reasons best known to it. And there were reservations from many of the top ad agencies on their participation in the Creative Abby.


Already the reputation of Goafest had taken a beating last year with charges of plagiarism and scam advertising impacting the credibility of what’s decidedly the mainstay of the event: the Creative Abby. “Ogilvy not participating in the Abby is like Brazil pulling out from the World Cup Soccer or China from the Olympics,” said one organiser and ad honcho on anonymity.


The last straw in the mess on Goafest was the stepping aside of Nakul Chopra as chairman of the Goafest Organising Committee earlier this week. The many delays in the dates meant that Mr Chopra would have to stay back from work for too long, and that’s something he could ill-afford.


But the appointment of Srinivasan Swamy, better known in the business as Sundar Swamy, is said to be a masterstroke. Said the organiser-cum-honcho we spoke to earlier: “There are few people in the business who you can never say no to. Sundar is one of them.”


A member of the India chapter of International Association of Advertisers cites Mr Swamy’s can-do attitude and a gentle mix of delegation-and-monitoring as the reason why IAA has superactive in the last two years. “There was no brief for the IAA to do what he has done. But Sundar achieved what Ad Club, AAAI and several other clubs and associations ought to be doing.”


Yet, said the honcho, it’s interesting that Mr Swamy has taken on the responsibility when it’s indeed a tall order given that the odds stacked against it.


Mr Swamy’s statement that the 2014 edition will be bigger and brighter may be looked at by many with a “let’s wait and watch”, but the balls have started rolling. The hotel has been tentatively booked, the dates are nearly sealed, and by shifting the proceedings indoors, there is hope that the heat generated around is more by the proceedings than the weather.


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