IPA counters claim of London bias

The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising is taking action to counter critics who claim it is failing to do enough to help regional and specialist member agencies.

The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising is taking action to

counter critics who claim it is failing to do enough to help regional

and specialist member agencies.



Better and faster hi-tech information systems, more accurate direct mail

and greater encouragement to specialist agencies to compete for

mainstream awards are all on the IPA’s agenda for the coming year.



At the same time, the trade body is working to improve its Website,

giving executives in member agencies immediate access to the IPA’s

information database.



’In terms of communicating with our members we want to be as good as we

can possibly get,’ Mark Rasdall, the IPA’s director of information

systems, said.



Failure to satisfy the needs of specialist shops and those outside

London was highlighted in a survey carried out among chief executives of

all 222 IPA member agencies.



Although the results show the IPA is highly regarded for upholding

professional standards and for the relevance of its services, the

findings reveal disquiet among regional shops about IPA bureaucracy and

the body’s preoccupation with London agencies.



Nick Phillips, the IPA’s director-general, said the emphasis on London

agencies was partly because they employed 75 per cent of the people

working in UK advertising. Also, although half of the IPA’s member

agencies were outside London, shops in the capital generated 85 per cent

of the UK ad industry’s total income.



’We have to be aware of where the key movers and shakers are but also of

the need to carry our out-of-London members with us,’ he added.



The IPA hopes to reduce feelings of isolation by encouraging specialist

agencies to compete for a wider range of awards and mainstream shops to

enter the specialist competitions. ’We want to stop the awards becoming

ghettos,’ Phillips said.



Meanwhile, the IPA plans to push ahead with speeding up its response to

members’ requests while improving its Website, where 9,000 pages are

being viewed each month compared with 900 when it was launched in

1996.



But Phillips insisted the improvements would not be reflected in higher

subscriptions. ’It’s largely self-financing,’ he said. ’There’s a lot of

time that isn’t being wasted any more.’



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