What's next for the ad industry?


BY LINCOLN YAP

THE advertising industry in Malaysia is in a constant state of flux due to the abundance of new technology and new forms of media – a challenge that the industry needs to address. 

“Previously there were only three or four media choices but now there are many new ones, like advertising on monorail pillars, or via mobile phones, with technology involving multimedia, which is new to all of us,” says Peter Dass, executive councilmember of the Malaysian Advertisers Association. 

To keep up with the constantly changing trends, he says, marketers need to be savvy and be able to alter their mindset accordingly.  

In fact, Zainuddin M. Moh, president of MAA says, this is especially vital in Malaysia, with its mix of ethnic groups, coupled with factors such as globalisation, emergence of new distribution channels, ever-growing consumers' demands, and rising levels of awareness among consumer groups and environmentalists. 

Both Zainuddin and Das will talk about these challenges in great length at MAA’s inaugural four-day AdCongress 2003 to be held in Langkawi on March 27. 

“The question is how do we maximise the advertising dollar? How do we spread that dollar across the various media?” Zainuddin says.  

This, according to him, is the reason why the MAA is undertaking the task of organising the congress – to help industry players learn the latest and best methods about marketing, brand-building and so on. 

In addition, the congress does not just target at the advertising fraternity but also their clients, as they too would need to understand the workings and challenges of an industry that directly impacts their businesses. The theme of the event is “What’s next – For You, Your Brand, Your Market, Your Industry?” 

“We are expecting a lot of people, especially young people, to come and we hope the congress can help make them more aware,” Das adds. 

He points out that there are also those who fear the opening of new markets. 

“We are targeting people like brand managers and event managers as some of the speakers will address issues like how to market a product (in light of the current challenges), how to take advantage of the availability of research media and so on.” 

“There’ll be a broad spectrum of the media and marketing mix that they can learn about from the convention, which will also be from a regional perspective,” Das says. 

Speakers across the industry who are scheduled to attend the congress are Koichi Yamamoto, senior manager of the corporate behaviour department, Dentsu Inc; Datuk Paddy Bowie of Paddy Schubert Sdn Bhd; David Wethey, chairman of Agency Assessment International; and Tony Fernandes, chief executive officer of AirAsia

Other invited speakers include Tan Sri Francis Yeoh, managing director of YTL Corp; Paul A Wheeler, vice-president and general manager, South East Asia, Glaxosmithkline Consumer Healthcare; Dr Cheong Choong Kong, deputy chairman and chief executive officer, Singapore Airlines; Mike Townsin, regional director Mediacom Asia Pacific; Peter Bullard, senior vice-president/managing director South East Network Group, MTV South East Asia; Navonil Roy, general manager, creative marketing group, Sistem Televisyen Malaysia; and Zainuddin Bahaudin, executive director, Perodua Sales Sdn Bhd. 

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