A Special Advertising Industry First: Guest Post by Ramesh Narayan


(Ramesh Narayan is the founder of Canco Advertising. His LinkedIn bio describes him as “Writer, photographer, advertising professional,friend.”)

The Abby awards, presented annually at the GoaFest are considered the Oscars of the Indian advertising industry.

And about 4500 entries view for this coveted recognition. The GoaFest jointly organized by The Advertising Club and the Advertising Agencies Association of India is the largest event in the industry’s calendar with about 2400 delegates attending this three day event that has knowledge seminars through the day and three huge awards nights that salute creative excellence in advertising.

This year the Awards Governing Council of the Abby’s decided to have a new category. One that would reflect a genuinely felt societal need, and also send out a very clear signal to the fraternity. And so they introduced the Special Abby for Gender Sensitive Advertising.

The thrust towards this area has not been entirely new in an industry which employs a rather large number of women professionals at all levels.

In fact the industry bodies have been closely working with Laadli an NGO that supports the girl child and the UNFPA in India over the last three years. Jointly they have held a seminar on Gender Violence where the accent was to explain the subtle nuances of gender bias to content creators in advertising and broadcasting. This was followed up by a national survey conducted in three cities on gender sensitivity in advertising. Several NGO’s in this field have been recommending that an Abby for gender sensitive advertising would be a very positive step forward and this year it became a reality.

The senior jury for the category was headed by veteran creative guru K.V.Sridhar (Pops) and a special deviation from a strictly adhered- to norm was made to include a representative each from Laadli and UNFPA.

Needless to add the new category has been enthusiastically greeted by the industry and the media.

So who were the winners?

The Gold

Anouk, Bold Is Beautiful: The Calling
by Hectic Content, Mumbai

The Silver

Truly Madly, #BoyBrowsing
by Contract Advertising

The Bronze

Truly Madly, Creep Qawwali
by AIB Vigyapanti

Lenskart, Eye for an Eye
by DDB Mudra Group, Mumbai


The Jury (4 our of 9 were women)

  • Rakhshin Patel,  pi communications
  • Dr. A. L. Sharada,    Population First
  • Gokul Krishnamoorthy,  Campaign India, Haymarket Media
  • Ashish Khazanchi,   Enormous
  • Mayuresh Dubhashi,  Taproot
  • Sagar Mahabaleshwarkar, Cheil
  • Anuja Gulati,  United Nations Population Fund Agency
  • Tista Sen,  JWT
  • Mahendra Bhagat,  Independent
  • V. Sridhar, SapientNitro (Jury Chair)