Piyush Pandey, group president and national creative director of Ogilvy & Mather India, will be the president of the Film and Press & Outdoor juries at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival 2004.
This is first time that anyone from Asia has had this distinction.
Pandey was recently voted the most influential person in Indian advertising in the Brand Equity annual Ad Agency Reckoner. He's widely credited with leading the creative renaissance at O&M India, which is now ranked as one of the most creative Ogilvy offices worldwide.
O&M has won the creative agency of the year award at India's leading advertising awards show, the Abbies, seven times in the last eight years.
In 2002, he was also voted Asia's Creative Person of the Year by a Hong Kong-based media group.
The Times of India Group is the official media representatives of the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival.
Slated to take over as executive chairman of O&M in January 2004 on the retirement of current chairman Ranjan Kapur, Piyush previously served as a member of the Film jury in 2002. That year he picked up two Gold Lions for his anti-smoking ad for the Cancer Patients Aid Association, in the Press and Outdoor categories.
While those were the first Lions ever to be picked up by O&M India they established a tradition: in 2003, O&M India won five more Lions.
Pandey's rise to the top of the Indian advertising heap has an element of the Bollywood fairy-tale about it: from the small Indian town of Jaipur, Pandey started his professional career as a tea-taster: after playing cricket at the state level for a few years.
He worked as a Hindi copywriter, and ultimately headed the creative function at O&M Mumbai before finally taking the top job.