Having recently taken on the role of president of the International
Advertising Association UK Chapter, I find my perspective broadening on
the changing influences in the international scene which this Campaign
It is fascinating, for example, that in today’s market, a tiny two- or
three-person agency can run a global campaign from a token office.
The increasing use of new media has shrunk the world as we know it,
removing the old boundaries and constraints, especially if satellites
and the internet are part of the whole marketing mix.
However, it is the big marketing players who are having a profound
effect on the way the advertising industry - particularly its agencies -
is having to gear up to meet these new needs. Shorter lines of
communication, policy decisions being made at higher levels and control
of budgets being managed centrally are all allowing greater senior
client involvement in advertising strategy and execution.
Advertising agencies are merging too, so that there are fewer and bigger
multinational agencies seeking to serve all aspects of their clients’
communication needs. The rise and rise of ’integration’ reflects the
flowering of developments that have evolved over the last 30 years but
now have a greater chance of succeeding with the increased use of
It may well be that these new agency structures will employ fewer people
in the future, and that the skill levels of individuals will be
Whether the majority of agency employees will eventually become
’generalists’, capable of operating across the whole range of marketing
communications disciplines and media, remains to be seen. It seems
certain, however, that agencies which provide inadequate training will
find it increasingly difficult to prosper.
The ambition of rising stars may not be to run one office of a global
empire, but to run an international account with 200 or 300 executives
reporting to them from around the world.
The development of international commercial communication in the near
future will be the subject of the 37th IAA World Advertising Congress in
London next June. Between 2,000 and 2,500 delegates are expected from
all over the world. The conference theme will be: ’Beyond the Cutting
Edge: the Communications Blueprint for the New Millennium.’
The congress aims to confirm London as the centre of excellence for
advertising and marketing skills which contribute substantially to the
commercial success of international businesses based in Britain and
It will also demonstrate the contribution that information technology
will make during the next decade and beyond. And it will aim to enhance
the IAA’s reputation as the international organisation that works with
other major bodies in the defence of freedom to advertise and freedom of
There are still barriers that exist around the world on every level,
from national boundaries and different laws and trading practices to
creative and cultural distinctions. Worldwide experts will comment on
these in depth.
This congress will be truly global - chaired by Sir Dominic Cadbury,
chairman of Cadbury Schweppes - with speakers drawn from all over the
The title of the congress is ’London 2000’. It is hard to imagine a more
appropriate location and year in which to reveal and debate a vision of
how the advertising industry should prepare for a future which will
differ radically from its past.
Adrian Vickers is deputy chairman of
Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO and president of the IAA (UK Chapter).