Sailing through the storm

A look at how well-known brands across businesses have plodded their way through controversies

Illustration by Kishore Das

In one of the large conference rooms at The Lalit in Mumbai back in September 2003, about a dozen people were glued to a large television set. As the Cadbury Dairy Milk logo cut across the screen, there were broad smiles all around and a quick round of handshakes was interspersed with high fives. A new ad campaign for the brand had just received the green signal from the top brass at Cadbury India. The efforts put in by advertising agency Ogilvy & Mather (O&M) had paid off and the commercial was set to go on air in a week’s time. Typically, for any agency, this period is one that brings with it a whole lot of relief, joy and nervousness. If the client management liked what it saw, it meant the agency had understood its brief well. The question, then, was whether viewers would like it and be motivated enough to buy the product.