Week at a glance: 10 years of Viacom18, Utopeia turns 5, Rob Norman...

Viacom18 Media completed its 10th anniversary on November 6, 2017. To mark the occasion, Viacom18 unveiled its corporate brand film, titled ‘Open New Worlds’. Elaborating on the brand promise, #OpenNewWorlds, Sudhanshu Vats, Group CEO, Viacom18, said, “Our vision to be India’s most admired M&E company is reflected in our intent to open new worlds for our audiences. Whether through our shows such as ‘Balika Vadhu’, ‘Shakti’, ‘Lakshmi Baramma’, ‘Angels of Rock’, Coot Original ‘Untag’ or movies like ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’, ‘Queen’, ‘Toilet Ek Prem Katha’ and more; a strong undercurrent of social messaging drives a lot of our content.” 

Mukesh Ambani, Chairman, Reliance Industries Ltd, made a special appearance at the celebrations and in a brief conversation with Sudhanshu Vats, spoke about his vision for Viacom18 going forward. He admitted that so far he had been “too obsessed” with Jio. But now he was ready to devote more time to grow the Viacom18 business. “The birthday gift that I am giving you on the 10th Anniversary is that you will get some of my time and support,” Ambani said. 

Though Bob Bakish, President and CEO of Viacom Inc, couldn’t be present at the celebrations, he had a special video message for Team Viacom18. “Ten years later, we couldn’t be happier and we really want to salute the team, the brands and the businesses that made it happen, because it’s one of those dreams that you have and it not only came to life, but it was better than what we could have imagined. I can’t even imagine what the future may bring,” he said. 

Following a multi-agency pitch, Madison Media has been appointed as the Agency-on-Record for Viacom18. Madison Media will now be handling the media planning and buying duties for the entire gamut of brands of the country’s fastest growing full-play media organisation. 

On its 5th birthday, Utopeia Communicationz has decided to create ads for five deserving, but not heavy on the cash front, start-ups. The ad agency will create the ads for free in a bid to give a boost to the ventures. And it is all out of pure love! In conversation with Adgully, Sudarshan Banerjee, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Utopeia Communicationz, speaks at length on the agency completing five years, how the agency came together, key achievements, clients, creativity and the road ahead. 

The recent incident where a passenger travelling on an Indigo flight was roughed up by some staffers of the airline at the Delhi airport was severely criticised in different forums and resulted in a lot of negative publicity for Indigo. This is not the first time that companies in India have been caught in the wrong foot. Adgully takes a look at some of the most infamous recent cases, wherein the companies and brands failed to take timely steps to take care of a crisis situation, which resulted in major backlash, negative publicity, loss of faith and even temporary withdrawal from the market. 

This week, the Global Awards announced the 2017 award-winners at their annual award celebrations in New York City. Agencies from India were out in front with 6 entries receiving Global Awards, including McCann Health India’s Best of Show and Grand Global for “The Immunity Charm” campaign. Medulla Communications was in the spotlight, earning 4 Global Awards. 

Reliance Big Synergy, the makers and producers of some of India’s biggest non-fiction TV shows like ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’, ‘Aap Ki Kacheri’, and ‘Sach Ka Saamna’, among others, is now increasingly producing shows for all the digital platforms. Indranil Chakraborty, CEO, Reliance Big Synergy, has been at the helm of the company since 2010. In conversation with Adgully, Chakraborty speaks at length about Reliance Big Synergy’s performance, plans to grow the digital content business, regional expansion plans, upcoming web series ‘Bose - Dead/Alive’ and more. 

KVL Narayan Rao, Group CEO and Executive Vice Chairperson, NDTV, passed away on November 20, 2017 after battling with cancer for two years. He was 63. Son of former India Army Chief late General KV Krishna Rao, Narayan Rao had joined NDTV in January 1995, looking after Human Resources, Administration and Operations of the organisation. 

BARC ratings for Week 46 (November 11-17) [HSM (U+R) : NCCS All : 2+ Individuals] saw Zee TV return to the No. 1 spot, even though the channel saw a dip in its gross viewership. Two of Sony Pal’s shows – ‘Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah’ and ‘Baalveer’ – featured among the Top 5 shows on Hindi GECs in Rural+Urban. 

Our special feature, W-Suite, puts the spotlight on Prachi Karan this week. Karan is Media Director at Isobar India. She is also a part of Isobar’s Women’s Council. Karan recently represented Isobar at the Media Works 2017 workshop that was held in Hanoi, Vietnam. She has been awarded as India’s Top Digital Planner (2017) by Digital Market Asia and Business World. She has also received the Star Youth Achiever Award by Youth Marketing & Social Media Forum in 2016. 

Features this week in our Offbeat section is Alok Sanwal, COO of Dainik Jagran INEXT. An engineer-turned-editor, Sanwal re-engineered the world of print media in India. His claim to fame is the disruptor newspaper INEXT that he brought to life and turned into a success story. The product raised many eyebrows and attracted much attention only to reach the heights of success and popularity in the urban-urbane population of northern India. 

Publicis India has announced the appointment of Nikhil Kumar as Vice President. Based out of Mumbai, Kumar will focus on both organic and inorganic growth for the agency. He will report to Paritosh Srivastava, COO, Publicis India. Kumar joins Publics India from Bennett Coleman & Co Ltd, where he was the Chief Manager at The Economic Times. 

Rob Norman, Global Chief, Digital Officer and North American Chairman for GroupM, is retiring after a successful tenure with the WPP media agency network for over three decades. He will discontinue his tenure full time in January 2018. 

Y&R has announced the appointment of Chris Foster as President, Y&R Asia, to oversee the growth of its business and operations in the region. He will report to Y&R Global President David Patton and be based in Singapore. The appointment is effective immediately. Foster joins Y&R after spending nearly two decades at Publicis Groupe companies, most recently serving as President, Global Clients for the Groupe. 

After a month-long strong resistance and deliberations, world’s largest advertising agency WPP has arrived at an agreement with American private equity firm Bain Capital to sell its share amounting to 24.7 per cent in Japan's third largest advertising agency Asatsu DK (ADK) for $1.35 billion.

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