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Ad-man Buddha sings a new tune

The chief minister turns copywriter to promote Brand Bengal CM's sales pitch, writesArindam Sarkar.

india Updated: Apr 02, 2006 13:33 IST

Multi-tasking might be a bad word for the Left, but not for Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee.

For besides his duties as chief executive officer of Bengal, Buddha also doubles up quite effectively as an ad-man. Not only for his party in the election season, but also for a bigger cause — Brand Bengal.

The CM's time these days is being used to produce some smart hoardings for the CPI(M) on the Unnatatara Left Front, information and technology, agriculture and industrialisation being seen all over town. But post-poll, the CM would be helped by multinational marketing giants in making sleek ad campaigns to woo investors and "to clear the wrong perception about the State".

"It is all about perception and image. For years now, a negative perception has grown around Bengal. And we have to come out of this by launching our own image-building exercise. We have to give the correct image and only then can we move forward. And let me tell you it has already started happening," Buddhadeb explains.

A couple of years back, Buddha started using his till then almost defunct Information and Cultural Affairs department to churn out advertisements for his own state. But before that, Buddha had a talk with McKinsey's top boss Rajat Gupta to make a road map for Bengal's march towards industrialisation and also on how to mix agriculture with industrial growth.

Subsequently, Buddha also asked his deputy, Industries and Commerce Minister Nirupam Sen, to appoint a public relations agency to brief the media about restructuring sick units.

Once the seventh Left Front government is in place, Bhattacharjee plans to hire renowned advertising agencies to promote industry, agriculture, tourism, forest, sports and transportation of the state. And after health and education are rejuvenated, Buddha also wants them highlighted.

While Buddha will always take the final call on promoting his State, it is the Information and Cultural Affairs department that would work in tandem with corporate advertisement agencies to produce the advertisements.

Interestingly, in his second term as CM, Buddha wants the advertisements in moffussil towns and district headquarters as well. "The awareness is to be created not only in other parts of the country but also in one's own state," said Buddha.

First Published: Apr 02, 2006 13:33 IST