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Ogilvy India’s Rajiv Rao resigns to pursue film-making

LiveMint logoLiveMint 12-07-2017 Saumya Tewari

New Delhi: Rajiv Rao, national creative director at advertising agency Ogilvy & Mather India, on Wednesday stepped down from his position to pursue a career in film-making, the agency said in a statement. Rao has been serving Ogilvy since 1999.

In a statement issued on Wednesday morning, Piyush Pandey, executive chairman and creative director, Ogilvy South Asia, announced that Rao will move on to “pursue his dream of filmmaking”.

“It has been Rajiv’s dream to make films for the last four years. I have nothing but a deep sense of gratitude to Rajiv, that he respected my request to stay on to help make a better and stronger Ogilvy. I am sure Rajiv will be no less a film-maker than the creative leader he has been,” Pandey said.

The announcement comes days after DDB Mudra’s Sonal Dabral was appointed as group chief creative officer and vice-chairman of Ogilvy, a new designation created at the WPP-owned agency. The development was seen as a succession planning move by the 62-year old Pandey by multiple industry experts.

Dabral will report to Pandey and Rao will continue to serve till Dabral takes over, ensuring a smooth transition in the organization. “I have not put a date on my last day as soon as Sonal feels comfortable with the system, I’ll move on,” said Rao, adding that he is currently busy working on the agency’s clients and has no immediate film-related projects.

“I would look for interesting ideas and stories to tell through films,” he added.

Rao has spent over 17 years at Oglivy, working on various blue-chip brands like Vodafone, Cadbury and Amazon. Over the years, Rao has been responsible for some of the most iconic campaigns including “second hand smoke kills” campaign for Cancer Patients Aid Association (that won India’s first double Gold at Cannes) and pug and zoozoo advertising campaigns for telecom company Vodafone. In 2009, Rao was also conferred with the Creative Person of the Year award by the World Brand Congress.

“My stint at Ogilvy has been a life-changing experience where I met some of the most interesting and talented people across the world. I’ve made friends for life at the agency and Ogilvy will always be a part of my life. I would also like to thank Piyush for trusting and teaching me nuances of advertising,” said Rao.

Ogilvy offers advertising and marketing services across media, including mainline (television and print), outdoor and digital.

Part of the WPP family, the agency handles clients like diversified group ITC Ltd, search engine Google, Pidilite Industries Ltd, Bharti Airtel Ltd and Tata Sky.

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