The Association of Accredited Advertising Agents (4As) will be organising a series of training sessions to upgrade and improve the skills of its members.
“Core activities of the 4As have always centred around upgrading skill sets and continuous training. Slotted for November is a training programme called NEXT primarily designed for senior executives in agencies,” 4As vice-president Datuk Johnny Mun tells StarBizWeek.
“These training programmes are designed to better equip talents with skill sets and knowledge to play pivotal advisory roles to our business partners which are our clients.” However, there are no divisions between programmes for local and international agencies.
“Participation in all the 4As subsidised training programmes is open to local and international agencies. The only difference may be that many of the international agencies have their own proprietary in-house programmes,” says Mun.
Apart from organising training activities, the 4As is also preparing for a number of award shows.
“We have some major award shows coming up,such as the Effies, Kancil Awards and Malaysia's Most Valuable Brands (MMVB). The remainder of 4As 2012 calendar is a packed.”
The MMVB event is an independent evaluation of public-listed companies based on financial and brand analysis as well as brand strength.
A total of 30 brands will be shortlisted for this year's awards, which is scheduled for October. The event is organised by the Association of Accredited Advertising Agents Malaysia (4As) and Media Prima. The organisers are collaborating with Interbrand, a global leader in brand consultancy, to undertake the brand valuation process.
According to reports, the 30 brands at the previous MMVB awards were collectively worth RM57bil in 2007, RM62bil in 2008 and RM54bil during the downturn of 2009.
Meanwhile, Mun says plans are ongoing to encourage working professionals from other industries to participate in its graduate fellowship programme.
The programme is a collaborative effort between the 4As, Malaysian Advertisers Association and the Media Specialists Association to tackle the shortage of talent within the creative media industry. Selected candidates will undergo a three-month fellowship at participating agencies under the programme.
“The programme is a pilot and we'll continue to use the experiences from this year's exercises to improve on recruitment for the future. For 2012, we managed to get 15 applicants and a number of them are on their rounds to the sponsor agencies for familiarisation. “Recruitment will remain an ongoing exercise. We are casting our nets even beyond fresh graduates,” says Mun.
Separately, Mun says he is optimistic about the advertising expenditure (adex) growth potential in Malaysia.
“Looking at the first half of 2012 in isolation, it seemed robust. There were two significant global sporting events this year namely the Euro (European football championship) 2012 and the just concluded Olympics. There were spikes in ad revenues across most media platforms leveraging on these events.
“There is also a significant increase in Government initiatives in the media understandably so in anticipation of the upcoming general election.” Malaysia's adex in the first half of the year (excluding Internet ad spend) rose marginally by 1.8% to RM5.08bil from RM4.99bil in the previous corresponding period, according to data from information and measurement firm Nielsen.
Industry experts and observers believed that first half adex was slightly below expectations.
“Frankly we expected a bit more growth, vis-vis the European football championship in June, but they failed to lift the adex in the first half,” says Omnicom Media group managing director Andreas Vogiatzakis.
“However, coming from a much smaller base year-on-year in the first quarter, the marginal increase is not surprising,” he adds.
A media analyst concurred that first half adex was “lower-than-expected.”
“We expected a boost in adex emanating from the Euro and Olympics this month. We feel that advertisers are still cautious due to the global economic uncertainty and the teetering situation in Europe,” she says.
First-half adex growth was led by outdoor and cinema, which rose 23.3% and 21.4% respectively, followed by pay-television which increased 11.7%.
Newspapers still continued to command the lion's share of total ad spend, accounting for 40.8% of total adex in the first half of this year.
The product/service categories with the highest ad spend in the first six months of 2012 were local government institutions, mobile line services, women's facial care, fast-food outlets and photography.
Mun believes adex growth for this year would not exceed 10%.
“Growth could be between 5% and 7% . In anticipation of the 13th general election, there could be a flurry of activities between now and end-2012, particularly in the print and electronic media.
“Outdoor and other out-of-home media expenditure may also show growth compared withlast year. Elsewhere, the digital sectors/social medium will definitely show an increase as agencies continue to develop new tools and marketers understand the value of engaging their customers interactively,” he says.
|Vogiatzakis: ‘Frankly we expected a bit more growth, vis-à-vis the European football championship in June but they failed to lift the adex in the first half.’
Source: The Star