The Asian Federation of Advertising Associations (AFAA) held its first Executive Committee meeting at Kuala Lumpur on May 22, 2012. In conversation with exchange4media, Pradeep Guha, newly-elected Chairman of AFAA, shares the action plan for Asia for the immediate future.
What was the objective of setting up the AFAA?
In the late 1950s, the International Advertising Association (IAA) launched a survey of world advertising expenditures and it turned out that Japan was the only country in Asia then, where such data was available. Although IAA continued its survey, it was not until 1968 that the findings on 64 countries could be documented in US dollars. The Asian Federation of Advertising Association (AFAA) was set up with an aim to unite all Asian advertising associations in order to enhance the overall growth of the advertising industry in the Asian region. AFAA’s aim is to upgrade standards, ethics and practices of advertising and to bring a more meaningful contribution from advertising activities to both regional and national socio-economic development. The federation is instrumental in setting up the necessary mechanism for Asian Advertising Congresses, foster self-regulation and devise and implement educational programmes.
Where does India feature in the Asian region?
For a very long time, India had little or no role to play in the Federation. However, since 2000 and certainly after AdAsia Jaipur 2003, India has become a prominent player.
Why is the first move a skills re-orientation initiative?
It is commonly found that fresh graduates are not quite ready for specific jobs in advertising. Also, given their own pressures, seniors don’t have enough time to train their juniors. To address this problem, AFAA decided to create a special five-day intensive workshop for young marketing executives in Brand Building, Account Management and Creative that will deal with issues of strategic thinking, idea generation and the soft skills required in this business.
What are other plans in the pipeline?
In an environment in which governments and pressure groups periodically raise issues about the ill effects of advertising, AFAA is planning to select ‘causes’ that are non-political and campaign for them – the girl child, the environment, for instance. AFAA will soon decide on one of these causes and create events and opinions around them across the Asia-Pacific region on a sustained basis. Also, there are several countries within Asia, like Nepal, Pakistan, Vietnam, Sri Lanka and Taiwan, where there is no code of Self Regulation. AFAA, through its member associations, is planning to pursue the introduction and development of such codes in these countries. These are some of the thoughts around which there is convergence in the Executive Committee. Some of these will unfold in the coming months.
AFAA’s action plan for Asia