On October 4, 2002, 20 Delhi-based small- and medium-sized agencies got together to raise one representative voice in the form of Advertising Agencies Guild (AAG). It was AAG's first public meeting. In Devnagri the acronym AAG, translates to fire. Though incidental, it represents the fiery determination of the all the 20.
The motto of AAG is to resolve, promote, encourage and develop the business of advertising on a single platform with total transparency. These 20 members include Crayons Advertising, Crescent Communications, Centum Advertising, Chiranjan Advertising, Arms Communications, Pamm Advertising, Appeal Advertising, Cencer Advertising, Ushak Kaal Communications, Dhar & Hoon, Akshara Advertising, Themes Communications, Rana Bharat Mktg. & Advt. and Critique Communication. The president of AAG is Kunal Lalani, the managing director of Crayons Advertising. Another principal member is GC Khatter who is the secretary general. Currently, AAG is headquartered in the office premises of Crayon. In time, AAG would move out.
Talking about the reasons behind the genesis of AAG, Kunal Lalani, president, AAG says, "We felt that there was an emergent need to address the concerns of our industry from a common platform. And hence the birth of AAG." Primarily there are five crucial issues on AAG's agenda that need immediate redress.
First, of course, is the issue of delayed or disputed payments that agencies have been grieving for quite some time now. "This applies to the erstwhile clients and not the running clients," clarifies Lalani. The second is keeping a vigil on the unethical practises by small newspapers that directly approach companies and extract work by luring them with heavy discounts. "This way we lose our business," adds Lalani.
Another pressing issue is the stringent eligibility or criterion that the PSUs adhere to while shortlisting agencies. The cut-off in terms of pitching for any business is a turnover of Rs 50 core or above. "The point is how can you justify the empanelment of six big agencies for a Rs 2-crore business? Finally, each agency gets a fraction of the total business. So why cannot a small- or mid-sized agency pitch for same business?" asks Lalani.
While these are the three issues that AAG's would be quite vociferous about, there are positive synergies members of AAG hope to draw from the association. "By pooling in our resources, AAG would develop the science of advertising in all its branches by promotions and organising seminars, lectures and workshops," explains Lalani.
The most interesting outcome of this association is the formation of a common media buying and selling unit. "AAG members will put their expertise together to form a common media buying and selling agency which members can use to their benefit," adds Lalani. So how would the economies be worked out? "Well a certain percentage of the business would be fixed for the media agency, the rest would go to the agency that services that account," he replies.
AAG is quite gung ho about its mission. "We are quite similar to AAAI or the ASCI, which have existed for more than 20 years in this industry. And we hope to reach the same level in the next two to three years. And our target is to represent 30 per cent of the total advertising market in terms of spends."
In addition to this, AAG would interact with professional bodies such as the INS, media, agencies, advertising associations, besides the Government on behalf of the members of the Guild. AAG is hoping 10 more agencies would join their ranks. Currently, the Delhi-based agencies that AAG is in talks with are Headstart Advertising, Sobhagya Advertising Service, FS Advertising and Foresight.
AAG is open to admitting big agencies as well. All that is needed for an agency to be part of AAG is that it should be accredited, should be Delhi-based and should observe all the rules and regulations laid out by the advertising industry. In the first phase of its operations, AAG would look at only Delhi-based agencies to fortify its network. In the second phase it might look at Chandigarh and Jaipur. © 2002 agencyfaqs!