BBDO India's chairman and chief creative officer, Josy Paul, has strongly denied an accusation made by Mayank Arora, currently employed with Swiggy as assistant manager for social media, regarding the fourth instalment of Ariel's #ShareTheLoad series.
Arora claimed on social media that the film, which BBDO India released on 13 March (see "Wake up and #ShareTheLaundry, says Ariel in #ShareTheLoad 4.0"), is similar to work he submitted to a digital agency in Mumbai on 23 September 2019. He created a 40-slide PDF with the campaign thought, flow and a script, and sent it to the agency, he said. The agency liked it and the conversation moved forward, but for some personal reasons, he chose to not join the company, he added.
His post stated:
To my surprise, my insight has been picked up and used as is, and the happy brags are just about beginning. This, makes me feel angry, and all the more desolate, and I still don't know what I can do about this. A positive to take would be some form of self validation, but it's plain sad to see individuals in the ad industry have zero sense of respect/acknowledgement for the ones who actually work their heart out on things.
Paul has denied the claims, stating that the agency submitted its presentation for the campaign on 13 September, 10 days before Arora claims he made his presentation to the digital agency.
Paul told Campaign India:
We’ve had no dealings with Mayank Arora. He did not apply to us at BBDO India. We did not meet him or give him an assignment or test. He did not present or mail any thing to us. We did not work with any 'digital agency' in the conceptualisation and creation of the idea and script. The idea was originated, developed, scripted and created in-house by talent that work full time at BBDO India on the Ariel brand. Every year we unravel a new truth about inequality at home, that no one has spoken about before. That’s what we did this year too.
Paul said the "hidden truth" about women waking up earlier than men and sleeping later was made by one of the agency's admin heads in a consumer confession session in BBDO's office in August 2019.
"As one of India’s leading creative agencies, we take pride in the ideas we create for our conscious clients and brands," Paul said.
BBDO India has been creating work for P&G Ariel since 2015. Starting with #ShareTheLoad in 2015, Dads#ShareTheLoad in 2016, Sons#ShareTheLoad in 2019 and now #ShareTheLoad for Equal Sleep.