Lenovo APAC marketer Sridhar Ramaswamy: If I caught my agency doing scam it would be a short conversation

Sridhar RamaswamyOne of the top Asia marketers at Lenovo has said that if he caught any of his agencies doing scam – work created only to win awards – it “would be a very short conversation” that he’d have with them.

In an interview with Mumbrella, Sridhar Ramaswamy, who is Asia Pacific advertising and brand director for the Chinese computing giant, said that scam is “agency PR at its worst if you’re caught.”

“We, as marketers, look to do work that has a clear business purpose, not to win awards,” he said.

Scam is a trend that is affecting how people perceive industry awards, he went on, his comments coming soon after it emerged that a number of winners at the Cannes Lions this year – in Singapore and Australia – had dubiously limited media distributions.

“Now, people look at work that has won and wonder whether it is real or scam. It’s doing no-one any favours. Work for work’s sake is wrong, and it’s a good thing that scam work is being called out,” he said.

Asked what he’d do if he caught one of his agencies doing scam, he said: “It would be a very quick and short conversation,” without going so far as to say he would fire the agency.

He added: “It would automatically change my perception of, and relationship with, the agency.”

“Agencies are custodians of our brand, and we expect them to play that role well. They’re supposed to be protecting our brand, not using it for their own purposes,” he said.

Lenovo’s main creative agency is the globally-aligned Ogilvy & Mather.

In the interview, Ramaswamy talked about the biggest challenges he faces as a marketer, and his marketing plans for the next 12 months.

Ramaswamy is the chief judge for the APPIES, an awards show to recognise the best of Asian marketing that takes place next month.


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