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
’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
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
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.’