Kochi: Kariath George John, the man who founded Anthem Communications and went on to merge it with TBWA Worldwide,passed away on Sunday night at his home town Cochin. He departed after a brief age related illness.
George, a post graduate in Mathematical Statistics. He joined Lintas India as a Media Planner in 1969. He handled some of Hindustan Lever’s most important and successful brand launches including Liril, Close-Up and Fair & Lovely. After 10 years at Lintas, he took over the management of Ulka Advertising (now FCB- Ulka). He turned the company around in less than a year and Ulka went on to become the 4th Honda Motorcycles “FILL IT”. SHUT IT”, FORGET IT” made it is the world’s largest selling motorcycle.
In 1988, George founded Anthem Communications Pvt Ltd in Delhi. It became the youngest Agency among the top ten in India with 8 offices and 350 employees spread across the country. In 1998, Anthem was invited to join TBWA/ WORLDWIDE, part of Omnicom Group as 50:50 JV partner. TBWA is a Global Agency with 228 offices in 98 countries.
In an Omnicom Global communication in 2007, TBWA/Anthem was rated one of Omnicom’s best partners worldwide, a unique distinction for an India- born agency. At TBWA, George helped launch the entire range of Sony Products in India as well as key launches and Brand Campaigns for Yamaha Motorcycles, Adidas, Samsonite, Pedigree, Bajaj Allianz, Standard Chartered Bank, Geojit BP Paribas, MalayalaManorama, Michelin Tyres, Henkel, Nivea, Apple and Electrolux.
In addition to the position of Chairman & Managing Director of TBWA India, George also helped set up TBWA/offices in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
After 40 years in Advertising, during which he created two successful national advertising agencies and rebuilt Ulka Delhi office, George retired in September 2008 when he sold his entire stake in TBWA Anthem to the parent company, Omnicom.
George built a beautiful chalet along the backwaters lived in scenic Edakochi and lived with his wife Minu and youngest son Kithu. Their daughter, Susan, lives with her husband and two sons in Delhi, while their elder son, John lives in New York with his wife and daughter.