IPA’s Howell sets out new agenda

Rupert Howell this week challenged himself to complete one of the most ambitious personal agendas ever set by an incoming president of the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising.

Rupert Howell this week challenged himself to complete one of the

most ambitious personal agendas ever set by an incoming president of the

Institute of Practitioners in Advertising.



Progress towards sweeping away restrictive account conflict rules,

closer links between media and creative agencies, better resourced

regulatory bodies, improved agency remuneration to allow the industry to

recruit and train the best graduate talent and more IPA help to cope

with the digital revolution are among his targets.



While the upbeat message won high praise from industry figures who heard

the HHCL & Partners chairman deliver his manifesto at London’s Savoy

hotel, some wonder if he has set impossible targets for his two-year

term of office.



Peter Mead, the Abbott Mead Vickers group chairman and a former IPA

president, warned: ’It’s important not to confuse words with progress.

You mustn’t try to fight on too many fronts because you’ll lose the

war.’



Moray MacLennan, the M&C Saatchi joint chief executive, hailed Howell

for heralding an important change of direction: ’Even if he fails to do

some of the things he hopes, he will still have done a good job.’



Howell insisted agencies should be aiming for 20 per cent margins, but

declared: ’I don’t think it’s the IPA’s business if people are paid

commission, fees or tractor tyres.’



He criticised clients for skimping on training: ’With the exception of

the likes of Procter & Gamble, Unilever and Mars, a lot of clients are

under-training their marketing staff.’



But his bitterest attack was on the Swedes, as he reaffirmed the IPA’s

support for the campaign to persuade the Swedish Government not to

introduce a ban on advertising to children when it assumes the EU

presidency.



’It’s a strange country that allows women and animals to do

unmentionable things to each other in movies but won’t allow its

nine-year-olds to watch a Lego ad,’ he said.



Live Issue, p10.



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