After two years of rivalry, the Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI) and the Ad Club of Bombay have joined hands for a single award for the advertising industry under Abbys. Following this development, the Abbys would be given away at GoaFest 2008. This time there would Media Abbys on April 4, 2008 and Creative Abbys on April 5, 2008.
GoaFest, which will be held from April 3 to April 5, 2008, will feature a conclave with national and international speakers on April 3, organised by the AAAI in conjunction with leading media industry bodies like the IBF, INS, etc. This will be followed by seminars covering the spectrum of creative, media, interactive, retail, global trends by leading international personalities on April 4-5, 2008.
exchange4media’s interactions with creative directors, CEOs and committee members of AAAI and Ad Club reveal that the merger of both the events – the Abbys and GoaFest – has got an overwhelming ‘yea’ from the industry.
Colvyn Harris, CEO, JWT India, said, “The merger of these two events is fabulous for the industry. The single award system was on the cards, and now that it has happened, it is only good for the industry. The industry now realises the importance of a single premier award. Now we shall see agencies coming together for a single cause.”
Subhash Kamath, CEO, Bates David Enterprise, was of the opinion that the earlier split that the industry had was needless and uncalled for. “I genuinely feel the way things had happened earlier was stupid and unnecessary. We are too small an industry, and by acting on egos and self interests, we had set a wrong example for our youngsters. I am glad that this year we have decided to do something to bring the unity back. After all, we all are members of both the Ad Club and the AAAI,” he noted.
Kamath further said, “I was part of the meeting that took place with regard to this, and I can say that the entire attitude of the meeting was one of co-operation and partnership. We all wanted a same thing – that is the united industry, and thus, we didn’t take long to work things out. We spoke to some of the top creative directors like Prasoon Joshi, Balki and Piyush Pandey, and they too wanted a united industry front. I think it’s a fantastic way to resolve all differences and create one big industry award that would be the benchmark.”
Commenting on the possibilities of a future spilt-up, Kamath said that the industry was aware of the fact that it couldn’t afford a split-up any more in the future.
Bobby Powar, National Creative Director, Mudra, was ecstatic with the development. He said, “I think this decision is bang on. It is great because the single award system would accurately define standards for winning awards, and there will not be any two ways in this. Those who produce good quality work shall be awarded, and an Abby is known in the industry for its standards.”
Powar also felt that the merger of the two events was an important move for India to be recognised globally. “If we maintain a high quality standard in judging, I don’t see any reason why India will not become the centre force in hosting an all Asia award. I think this is just a beginning of good things to happen in the industry,” he said.
Madhukar Kamath, President, AAAI, said, “The AAAI Goafest has been embraced wholeheartedly by the advertising fraternity, and will undoubtedly achieve new milestones with every year. We are thrilled to be working alongside the Ad Club of Mumbai in awarding the Abbys, which have over the years come to be recognised as the premier awards for excellence in creativity. The coming together of the AAAI and the Ad Club Mumbai is definitely a landmark event. This has been made possible only by the desire of the entire industry to have one award and one glorious festival.”
Bhaskar Das, President, Ab Club Bombay, said, “We at Ad Club believe that collaboration reaps dividends, which is something the AAAI endorses too. The industry is witnessing challenging times in our operating environment, for which we need to focus our priorities in doing things in a collaborative manner and not dissipate energy through frictional losses. Members of both the AAAI and Ad Club have a progressive mindset to come together on issues pertaining to the Indian advertising industry to make it globally competitive. I’m sure that this kind of unity will allow us to have the world on our side only and enable all of us to be true to the best that is within us.”
Officials from both AAAI and Ad Club also informed that the objective of the AAAI GoaFest was to present young professionals the opportunity to interact not just with the Indian gurus of advertising, but also meet some international personalities well known in their respective fields.
Jagdip Bakshi, Chairman, GoaFest 2008, informed, “This year, the line-up promises to be even more impressive than that in 2007. Our key effort is to improve the package offered to the under 30s. Last year, we had over 2,300 attendees, of which over 800 were below 30. We are sure this number will increase substantially in 2008.”