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POV: Do we need two national level advertising bodies?

With The Ad Club dropping Bombay from its name in order to be national in stature, we are left with two national level bodies representative of the ad industry.

Anil Nair, CEO & Managing Partner, Law & Kenneth India

A representative body should be as cohesive as an IBF (Indian Broadcasting Federation) or INS (The Indian Newspapers Society). Lobbying, negotiating, regulating, rewarding - all of these should happen through one body. Today, I am not sure which one is doing my job.

Anil Nair
Sandip Tarkas
Pratap Bose
Nagesh Alai

Why can't there be an authority with sub-committees doing various things? Advertising is too small an industry to have multiple bodies. Even the management committee in both the boards must have thought about this, but the fact that multiple bodies exist, clearly depicts a clash. I am not clear on the equation between the members of both the boards, but clearly they are not one unit.

There are many issues like evaluation, remuneration, idea stealing, and many more, to battle with. And what is the reason for creating two buckets?

Sandip Tarkas, president, customer strategy and CEO (Future Media and T24), Future Group

In a way, there is a point when you say that there is no need for two bodies but I feel that they can really co-exist, as they have for many years. AAAI represents the harder interest of the industry, whereas Ad Club represents the softer interests in terms of being a body that organises awards and seminars.

One acts as a financial representation, whereas the other acts as creative representation of the industry. But, the two of them need to find a way to work together.

Goafest 2012 is the biggest example when the two bodies came together. They need to set many such examples where there is a combined effort in one direction by these bodies.

Pratap Bose, COO, DDB Mudra Group and Secretary, The Advertising Club

The AAAI looks after the advertising and the media industry and is more like a watchdog for the industry - sort of an industry regulator. Ad Club is a body that looks after the industry interest. Ad Club plays two roles; the first one is that it provides recognition to the quality of work, through awards and the second role is the continuing education programme. The reason to drop Bombay and go national was because we felt that the ad fraternity is beyond Bombay and the entries for Effies, Emvies and such other awards come from all corners of India. In fact, a step in this direction was taken last year, when the first round for judging of Effies 2011 was held in New Delhi. The whole idea is to make it more encompassing and all inclusive, be it through awards, knowledge sharing or industry participation.

Nagesh Alai, ED, India Operations, Draftfcb Ulka Group

AAAI and Ad Club Bombay are fundamentally distinctive bodies in terms of their objectives and their composition. AAAI is comprised of corporate members specifically from the advertising business (full service ad agencies, creative and media agencies) whereas Ad Club Bombay is comprised of individuals from across the clients, media and advertising spectrum.

To put it in context, if there are any duplications like awards, the two bodies have come together, which is why we have Abby's at Goafest for the last five years. At the end of the day, professionals are involved in AAAI and Ad Club and they go about things in a professional and neutral way in the larger interest of everyone.

To close, are there not FICCI, CII, ASSOCHAM, PHD and BCCI? They have all been around for years and is there not a fair amount of similarities in them? To sum up, "you will be relevant as long as you stay relevant."

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