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#MeToo sees first high-level departures in India’s adland, as Dentsu execs step down


Both the Happy mcgarrybowen chief executive officer Kartik Iyer and the managing director Praveen Das have stepped down from the agency, in the wake of allegations of sexual harassment.

Senior creative director at Happy mcgarrybowen Bodhisatwa Dasgupta has also stepped down, shortly after writing an open letter on Medium directed at everyone he’d been “sexually inappropriate with”.

Meanwhile, a staffer at another Dentsu Aegis Network agency who had been called out – Dinesh Swamy the national creative director at iProspect – has also stepped down.

The holding company issued the following statement: “Dentsu Aegis Network has always believed in providing a safe environment at our workplaces, which is free from any kind of harassments. We have a zero tolerance policy towards any kind of harassment at our workplaces.

“Mr Kartik Iyer (CEO) and Mr Praveen Das (MD) have stepped down from their respective positions and responsibilities at Happy Creative Services. Additionally, Bodhisatwa Dasgupta, senior creative director, Happy Creative Services and Dinesh Swamy, national creative director, iProspect India have also stepped down from their respective positions.”

Iyer and Das were the founders of Happy Creative Services, which was rebranded Happy mcgarrybowen after being acquired in 2016. They are among the senior most personnel to leave their organisations in the wake of the #MeTooIndia movement gaining momentum in recent weeks.

Dasgupta was known for starting Longhand, a contest with the stated goal of reviving long-form copy. It counted Neil French, the erstwhile worldwide creative director at WPP and Adrian Homes the former chief creative officer at Lowe Worldwide and founder of Holmes, Hobbes and Marcontonio among its judges.

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