Year in advertising: The big movements of 2020

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From Ogilvy’s Sonal Dabral to Raj Gupta’s exit from Lowe Lintas, here is a look at some of the key people movements in advertising

To say that 2020 was unlike any year that the ad-world witnessed wouldn’t be an understatement. With the pandemic and the lockdown in place, the industry grappled with cost-cutting and a plethora of layoffs. And the year had its share of big people movements. Like every year, we give a lowdown on the big exits and entrances of 2020 that Indian ad-land witnessed.

The year kick-started with ad-man Sonal Dabral quitting Ogilvy. Dabral who served as the Chief Creative Officer South & South East Asia of the agency had joined Ogilvy from DDB Mudra. Initially, he joined as Group Chief Creative Officer and Vice Chairman in 2017, and was given a larger Asia Pacific (APAC) role later. Along with Reed Collins, Dabral was heading Ogilvy’s Asia Pacific (APAC) team. Following his exit, the agency handed over the baton to Kainaz Karmakar, Harshad Rajadhyaksha and Sukesh Nayak. And since then, the ad maestros have been overseeing all creative work across markets in India. They will also continue to lead creative hands-on in Ogilvy Mumbai.

Furthermore, Raj Gupta, CEO, Lowe Lintas, stepped down from his position after a 28-year-long association with the group. Recently Amjad Ali, President, Mullen Lintas Delhi, too decided to move on from the agency. Ali had been with the Lintas group for two decades and was part of the founding team of Mullen Lintas.

WPP too merged Grey Global with AKQA and VMLY&R with Geometry this year. The Glitch was added to the VMLY&R network. dentsu International too went in for restructuring.

Neeraj Bassi who quit Publicis India as its Chief Strategy Officer and Managing Partner joined Havas Group India as Chief Strategy Officer.

Moreover, Malvika Mehra, Chief Creative Officer of dentsu quit the agency. dentsu then entrusted Soumitra Karnik, currently Chief Creative Officer at Dentsu Impact and mcgarrybowen India, with the additional charge of CCO.

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Misbaah Mansuri

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