The Advertising Agencies Association of India announced Sam Balsara, chairman and managing director, Madison World as the recipient of 'AAAI Lifetime Achievement Award' for 2009. The award will be presented to Balsara on November 13 in Mumbai.
The award was known as 'AAAI Prem Narayan Award' till 2007. In 2008, the award was presented to Ranjan Kapur, country head, WPP group.
Madhukar Kamath, president, AAAI, and managing director and chief executive officer, Mudra Group says in a press statement, "Sam Balsara is a respected professional and an acknowledged leader in the industry today. He has made immense contribution to the Indian advertising industry with his participation in the agenda of AAAI, Advertising Standards Council of India, International Advertising Association, Advertising Club, etc. He has been in the forefront of championing industry issues, be it with the Government or the media."
The executive committee of AAAI discussed the award and zeroed in on names, before empowering a three-member team comprising Kamath; Colvyn Harris, vice-president, AAAI, and chief executive officer, JWT; and SK Swamy, immediate past president, AAAI, and chairperson and managing director, RKSwamy/ BBDO.
"It was a unanimous choice and did not take much time," says Harris on choosing Balsara as the recipient.
Balsara, on his part, quips that the award does not mean that he is retiring. He lauds the fact that AAAI chose to recognise media agencies as well. He says that it is a matter of time before the association becomes the apex body of the communication industry and can then regulate with a view to help the advertising industry grow further.
"By giving these awards, we want to use the recipients as a role model for people who come into the industry," says Kamath.
The AAAI is the official, national organisation of advertising agencies consisting of around 100 members, which together account for almost 80 per cent of the advertising business in the country. It is recognised as the spokesperson for the advertising industry at all forums.