Fifteen months after he joined JWT as chief creative officer, Bobby Pawar has resigned. His move follows the controversy over a Ford Figo poster campaign uploaded on the internet without approval a few days ago.
Besides Pawar, Vijay Simha Vellanki, creative director at Blue Hive, the specialised unit within JWT that manages the Ford account, has also stepped down. It is learnt Simha was directly involved in the poster campaign created by junior members of the Blue Hive team. These juniors, too, have been asked to leave.
“After a thorough internal review, we have taken appropriate disciplinary action with those involved, including employees’ exit. These were necessary steps owing to the direct accountability of the individuals concerned as we work to ensure both the right oversight and processes are strictly enforced, so that this never happens again,” JWT said in a statement.
JWT is yet to find a replacement to Pawar, who had moved from Mudra following a majority acquisition of the firm by DDB in November 2011. The Blue Hive team would see some new faces in the coming days.
The ad campaign has sparked worldwide outrage for its presentation of high-profile people, such as former Italian prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, who is seen flashing the V sign from the driver’s seat of a car carrying three gagged and bound women in the boot. The second shows socialite Paris Hilton hauling US reality TV stars, the Kardashian sisters, while former Formula One champion driver Micheal Schumacher is seen tugging rivals Sebastian Vettel, Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton.