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
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
’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.