By Syed M. Aslam
Nov 22 - 28, 1999
S. Masood Hashmi is the Deputy Managing Director of the
Pakistans largest advertising agency, Orient McCann-Erickson. At 38, he is the
youngest president ever elected by the Marketing Association of Pakistan (MAP) and the
first from the advertising industry.
Masood holds Diplomas in Advertising, Marketing and Public Relations
from London Chamber of Commerce, International Advertising Association and City College of
Management Studies, London. In addition, he holds a Diploma in Leadership Development
Programme from the Columbia Universitys Graduate School of Business, New York.
He has been an Honorary lecturer at the University of Karachi, alma
mater from which he completed his graduation in commerce. He is also visiting speaker at
the reputed Institute of Business Administration (IBA) Karachi as well other forums. He is
also the secretary general of International Advertising Association (Pakistan Chapter) and
representative of Pakistan Advertising Association in Pakistan Advertisers Society.
PAGE: Why advertising?
S. Masood Hashmi: Why not? While it is true that my association
with advertising has much to do with its being my family business it is not the only
reason. Advertising has always fascinated me since my childhood, much before our company
reached the envious position which it holds today. I used to sing advertisement jingles in
my youth so much that my friends use to ask me Are you normal.
PAGE: Do you feel there has been a change in the local
advertising scene during last decade?
SMH: I believe that the only thing permanent in this world is
change. Though we still lag much behind the internationally acceptable advertising
standards in all fields; such as strategy, creativity, technicality and execution, we have
made inroads primarily due to the growing influence of foreign satellite channels. The
consumers in Pakistan are now exposed to the international media which in turn has
resulted in greater demand for quality. They now are in a better position to compare
things to put an immense pressure on the advertising agencies and their clients the
former to create better advertisements and the later to produce better products. However,
the growing awareness on the part of consumers has been good for both the advertising
agencies and their clients as they now have to deliver or be ready to be pushed out of the
PAGE: Is the growing demand for quality benefited the local
SMH: In terms of competition, yes. However, we must realise that
advertising is directly related to economy. A stable and growing economy is one of the
major prerequisite for advertising.