Goafest official Shashi Sinha told Ad Age in an interview that
the WPP owned shop called festival officials on Friday in an effort
to remove the Ford Figo ads from the judging and followed up, as
required, with a request in writing from the executive who had
entered the work. That person was identified to them as Bobby
Pawar, the chief creative officer and managing partner of JWT
Mr. Pawar, a well-known creative in India, is one of two
executives JWT referred to but didn't name in an earlier statement
saying "After a thorough internal review, we have taken appropriate
disciplinary action with those involved, which included the exit of
employees at JWT."
Mr. Pawar's LinkedIn profile states that he has been at JWT
since January 2012, but has in the past held roles at the Indian
offices of several major global agencies. He was previously chief
creative officer of DDB Mudra Group,
group creative director at Energy BBDO and
senior partner and creative director at Ogilvy &
Mather. He started his career at Ogilvy in 1995.
According to multiple executives familiar with the matter, Vijay
Simha, whose LinkedIn profile describes him as "VP and senior
creative director at Global Team Ford at JWT" was the other person
who was fired. His resume includes stops at Grey Worldwide and
Not only has the Ford scandal been a ding to JWT India's
reputation, it's also now leaving the agency without senior
creative and account leadership, since these executives --and
possibly others under the Blue Hive group at the shop that runs the
carmaker's business-- must now be replaced. JWT India did not
respond to a request for comment. Ford yesterday told Ad Age that
despite the fake ad scandal, it will keep its relationship with JWT
Mr. Sinha went on to explain that it was because the festival
received JWT's written request for withdrawal of the work that they
were permitted to pull it, since judging was still in the early
stages. Mr. Sinha, who oversees Goafest as president of India's Ad
Club and chairperson of the 11-member Awards Governing Council. Mr.
Sinha is also CEO of IPG Mediabrands in India.
Because the work was removed in the middle of the judging, it's
unclear whether the Ford Figo ads made the shortlist. The work
appeared to be properly entered, with proof that it had run and a
client approval letter from Ford's CMO in India.