MullenLowe Lintas’ Amer Jaleel & Motilal Oswal get into a discussion over lack of credit

Motilal Oswal ad

After MullenLowe Lintas’ Amer Jaleel took to LinkedIn to share his dismay over not getting credit for Motilal Oswal’s campaign, the company’s Managing Director and CEO denies the allegations.

Motilal Oswal’s recent campaign has stirred a conversation about plagiarism in the Indian advertising industry. The company released an advertisement that is allegedly a replica of their own campaign from 2017, which was originally conceptualized by MullenLowe Lintas. 


MullenLowe Lintas’ Group CCO and Chairman Amer Jaleel took to LinkedIn to share his dismay over not getting credit for Motilal Oswal’s new campaign. He urged the industry to “introspect” about how agencies are not protected under intellectual property rights (IPR). 

“It’s common these days to take the most valuable output of the agency, ‘the brand idea’ and move on. Get the exact same campaign done ‘outside’. No shame. No guilt. No ethics,” he wrote.

Motilal Oswal’s Ramnik Chhabra, former executive director and head of marketing has now responded to this post. He said that while onboarding the agency he had clarified that some projects will be executed in-house and more than 8 such campaigns have been done after that.

“Acknowledge that while the original idea has come from the agency; it has been built by us together. Also assumed that since we have compensated the agency for the idea over previous campaigns; it is the clients (sic) property and can be used for a campaign created in-house,” said Chhabra. 

Also read: Case Study: How Uber’s WhatsApp 2 Ride campaign for Delhi NCR garnered 31M Impressions

Both Jaleel and Chhabra have put the spotlight on an issue that has been discussed in the advertising world for years – who owns the idea after the brand has paid for it? 

Various thought leaders chimed in on LinkedIn. 

Nikhil Narayanan, head of creative – internal communications and social media, TCS said, “When a client pays an agency to create work for them, doesn’t the IPR belong to the client? Aren’t they free to do what they choose with that idea later on as it belongs to them?”

On the other hand, some sided with the agency. 

Kawal Shoor, Planner & Founding Partner at The Womb said, “I’m surprised people are surprised here:-). Galti hamaari hai…hum dar ke kaam karte hain. Closet sufferers kyun bane rahen?”