Quick: where are the leading advertising and marketing agencies based today? Not New York City. Not the San Francisco. Not Chicago. They're based in India, says the Wall St. Journal (free content).
Outsourcing, considered to be a dirty-little-word on Madison Avenue, is now being referred to as "sharing" (the word de preference of Paris-based Publicis chairman Maurice Levy), or "shifting creative work" to India. It is happening not only because of cost cutting (try 1/8th the price tag of US agencies out for size) but, at least in part, because they are becoming increasingly sophisticated - especially in online campaigns.
To prove it, big brands like Coca-Cola and niche luxury brands like Alfred Hammel (manufacturers of $10,000 Swiss watches) are relying on Indian creative tech talent. And agencies like Leo Burnett and Ogilvy & Mather are paying attention.
Dave Banjeree is founder of Banjeree & Partners, an agency focusing on outsourcing work to India. On the skeptics who don't believe there will be a global agency in India capable of handling the world's largest clients, he remarks:
There was a time, not so long ago, when everyone laughed at outsourcing software development to India. Look at that industry now. Our work, despite being much lower in cost, is and will be at par with the best in the U.S. industry if not better. Slowly and gradually clients will realize our value proposition. While pioneering something like this, we must keep in mind one thing: Rome was not built in a day.
Hat tip to Fortune Innovation Forum's Business Innovation Insider.