There's no battle in this 'turf war'

No doubt many members of the marketing community must be speculating about the alleged "turf war" between the DMA and the IPA, as reported in Campaign over the past two weeks. In fact, the DMA and IPA are wondering about it as well and the apparent need of the press to misconstrue the situation, writes James Kelly, managing director of the DMA.

Over the years, there have been several discussions as to the possibility of greater co-operation between the trade bodies, specifically those which serve the agencies in the advertising, media, marketing and business communications industries.

More recently, the IPA has been prompted to review its overall strategy as a result of the increasing breadth of communication services being offered to their clients by its existing and prospective IPA member agencies. At the same time, other trade bodies have come to appreciate that their members are also offering similar or complementary services.

In this situation, it has been suggested that one option for the future might be to create a new body representing the interests of all the existing operators.

Of course such moves are not embarked upon lightly or without proper consideration, and none of the trade bodies involved in the discussions have sought to prescribe the final format of any entity which might emerge.

The DMA has viewed its recent discussions with the IPA as quite exploratory and conceptual and until such a time that a proposal takes shape and a model is developed, a final decision to either accept or reject the notion has not, nor can it be, made.

While the discussions around sharing premises is not practical for the DMA at this time, (we've just signed a new, long lease), to report that the DMA has completely rejected the 'big tent' concept is extremely premature.

In the meantime, several specific areas have now been proposed by the DMA for joint development with the IPA. It is anticipated that the two bodies will continue the positive and enthusiastic spirit of co-operation, to the mutual benefit of our members.

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