‘I am sacking my advertising agency’



“I am sacking my agency,” screams Darshan Mehta, CEO, VF Arvind Brands, in a message from the home page of Agency faqs. You are wrong, if you thought, he is inviting new ad agencies to pitch in for the account of Lee jeans. Instead, he is asking you, the readers, to come up with a witty line on Lee jeans.

Indian companies are now gearing up to channel consumer-generated content through inter active brand sites. And, who is helping them doing this? Surprsingly, their own ad agencies. Lee’s initiative was designed in consultation with their ad agency, Alok Nanda Communications according to a report in the Business Standard.

“Traditional advertising is moving to new-age media,” said Mehta, who firmly believes that interactive advertising and communication is the way forward. In Lee’s case, the contest leads internet users to navigate Lee website, which has contests and interactive forums.

This is not an isolated case of inviting consumers to write taglines for ads. For example, more than 22,000 ads were created by consumers for Chevy (a North American automobile brand) on their web site. Consumers created online commercials for the Tahoe, putting together video clips and music tracks and writing their own copy. In fact, more than 5.5 million people interacted with the site. However, 16 per cent of the 22,000 ads submitted were negative .

While, biscuits major Britannia has offered a marketing challenge to business schools for devising a strategy for the launch of a sugar-free range of biscuits and a variant for Marie, students at the Kent University are helping in designing advertisements for Chipotle a restaurant chain.

“Consumer-generated content builds their involvement in the brand,” says Pranesh Misra, President and COO, Lowe Lintas. It cannot, however, replace the role of the ad agency, as there is more to advertising than creative ideas, he adds.

“With more customers preferring to spend time surfing the internet, it becomes easier for brands to reach to their right audience. And, the added advantage is the response generated,” opines Santosh Padhi, executive creative director, Leo BurnettAdvertising agency.


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