proposition dominated the Advertising Conclave at GoaFest
2008. In the final session of the Conclave focus turned to
what should be the role of an industry body in creating value
for the advertising industry. Speakers at the session included
Pramath Sinha, Managing Director, 9.9 Media; Saurabh Srivastava,
past Chairman of Nasscom; Kiran Karnik, former President of
Nasscom, who recently joined the Global Advisory Board of
IDG Ventures; and Ranjan Kapoor, Country Head, India, WPP.
In his opening statement, Srivastava said,
?The IT industry is worth $60 billion today. Back in 1988,
software was given free and no value was given to it, we had
a much bigger challenge of value addition then than what the
ad industry has today, given the current value at 15 per cent.?
Karnik felt that the advertising industry was
doing really well and was a critical, but very young industry.
?Industry should zoom out and discussions should focus on
broader issues,? he added.
Kapoor remarked, ?I find there is more of self-flagellation
than self-congratulation. There is so much negativity within
the advertising industry itself. We don?t look at our business
holistically. We don?t know how big the advertising industry
is. We figure among the top 15 advertising industries of the
world and spend 4 per cent of our GDP as advertising expenditure.
China, in comparison, spends just 2 per cent of the GDP as
advertising expenditure. We need to tap the potential advertisers,
they aren?t spending what they should be. We are more interested
in advertisers than the advertising scene as a whole. The
word agency itself is more of a Victorian concept, we need
to be more exclusive.?
He further said that digital was not advertising.
?Digital grew from Rs 70 crore to Rs 700 crore last year alone,
but it is not part of the AAAI. In seven years, it seems digital
would become larger than us. We need to start having a micro
Talking about the IT industry, Pramath Sinha
said that it was very different from the ad industry. ?We
need to learn from an IT industry body like Nasscom, on how
it has grown in strength and how it represents the various
issues concerning the IT industry to the Government,? he added.
Srivastava explained that as a industry body
it was important to tackle issues of talent. ?Nasscom is addressing
the problem of talent crunch in the industry by planning to
set IT institutes. We have been able to plan ahead and think
in wider terms. Creating a company is easy, but creating an
industry body is tough. The media for advertising is changing,
business models need to be changed as there is a huge paradigm
shift in the industry. We should drive the new business models.?
Karnik concluded the session by summing up
the key points. ?The benchmark of GDP should be completely
erased from our minds, as one of the greatest success is to
be exclusive. We are exclusive and that?s why the Government
is listening to us. Aspirational growth is important and so
is long term planning. The ad industry needs to plan long
term, just the way Nasscom had set up a concrete 10-year plan
for the IT industry.?
?The ad industry needs to be a independent
and a strong industry and focus on wider issues. We need to
try and pitch issues for an ecosystem that would benefit everyone.
We need to increase our visibility and get rid of the monopolies.
The ad industry needs to get together and address the Government
together. We need to address the issues in the Budget regarding
taxes. The ad industry needs to get more aggressive,? was
Karnik?s parting shot.