OPINION: HOWELL ON ... A YEAR IN THE LIFE OF AN IPA PRESIDENT

Time flies when you’re having fun. It’s been a year since I was elected IPA president, so I thought it worthwhile to issue an ’annual report’.

Time flies when you’re having fun. It’s been a year since I was

elected IPA president, so I thought it worthwhile to issue an ’annual

report’.



In my inaugural speech I pledged to continue the excellent work of my

predecessors in the areas of training, advertising effectiveness and

’out of London’ involvement.



As far as training is concerned, the Continual Professional Development

programme has been successfully introduced. Seventy agencies have signed

up, including most of the top 30.



This year’s Advertising Effectiveness event will be the best awards

night ever. For the first time there will be ’Agency of the Year’ awards

and international entries. So put 7 November in your diaries.



Out of London, we’ve merged the Midlands and northern regions and

increased our investment in the secretariat in Scotland and the

Regions.



There were, however, other areas that I thought needed attention.



I was concerned about the separation of creative and media agencies. We

have responded by introducing cross-discipline training and some

agencies are already bringing the two disciplines closer together.



I think everyone realises that the future is digital. So the IPA has set

up a digital marketing group and we’ve produced a book called e-media -

state-of-the-art knowledge on the internet revolution. We’ve got an

excellent new website and most information is now disseminated

electronically.



Events have overtaken us in the realm of conflict rules. The dotcom

frenzy has necessitated a relaxing of the rules, which is all for the

better.



Regulatory bodies are still a hot topic. There’s a lot to do but, with

the IPA’s encouragement, the BACC has been given extra resources and has

improved its information flow. We’re also building a relationship with

the new Independent Television Commission regime and working on a

revision to the codes.



Better integration of the new-media, direct marketing and sales

promotion agencies is obviously desirable. A new course on total

communications effectiveness has been introduced and we have amended the

IPA’s memorandum and articles to allow a broader definition of marketing

communications agencies - reflecting our diverse membership and the

desire of so many organisations to join us.



It’s important for our industry that we present ourselves in such a way

that we get the best quality graduates coming in. This is a long-term

goal but we’ve made progress on how the industry might attract new

entrants at the annual ’milk round’.



Just as important is the quality of junior clients. Full collaboration

with the advertiser trade body ISBA has resulted in more joint training

programmes and several major clients reporting a significant increase in

the training of junior marketing staff.



So, although I say it myself, good progress to date. Add to that the

reduced threat of a Swedish-led ban on advertising to children, the

resolution of the Trinity Mirror issue and I think it has been a

successful year.



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