Ogilvy’s ‘jod’ goes unstuck as Abhijit ‘Kinu’ Avasthi quits

29 Oct,2014


By A Correspondent


It’s a bond one thought would last forever. For many years, Ogilvy & Mather India has been known for Piyush Pandey. So strong is the association with Pandey that the agency’s name could well be prefixed with a Pandey.


But over the last five years, National Creative Directors Abhijit Avasthi and Rajiv Rao have come into their own and established themselves as creative gurus with their own standing, albeit a notch below Pandey.


The news of Ogilvy India National Creative Director Abhijit Avasthi parting ways with the agency after working there a decade-and-a-half sent shockwaves in the industry. Confirming this development, Avasthi said he was mulling his next steps.  He said he was in discussions with Mr Pandey (coincidentally also his maternal uncle) for a few months.


Last evening, Piyush Pandey, Executive Chairman & Creative Director, Ogilvy South Asia sent a mail to Ogilvy & Mather employees announcing the development. Rajiv Rao, who also shares the creative charge of the agency as National Creative Director (NCD), will be the sole NCD with effect from December 1.


Mr Avasthi will be with the agency till November 30 and continue to be associated with small projects, Mr Pandey said in a mail. According to sources, Mr Avasthi is likely to set up his own creative agency, a move that he has been contemplating for a while. The outgoing NCD though is tightlipped about his plans and would talk about them when the time is right.


A metallurgist by formal education, Kinu, as Avasthi is known in the fraternity, got into advertising after working in a steel plant, manufacturing textile dyes, trading in saris and even exporting playing cards and match-boxes. He started as a copywriter with Enterprise Nexus in 1997 and joined Ogilvy in July 1999. Other than winning several awards and being on the jury of many award shows, Avasthi has been several acclaimed advertising campaigns to his credit. These being for: Fevicol, Cadbury, Asian Paints, Google, Tata Sky, Bajaj, Centerfresh, Mentos and Unilever amongst others.


Friends in Ogilvy, say that while he is a creative, Kinu has a sharp business mind and in his quiet, affable way can win over clients and make decent monies for his agency.


Watch this space for more.


Image: Part of a Fevicol ad was doctored to show a hand (Abhijit Avasthi’s) getting unstuck from that of Ogilvy’s


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