Ad association wants SMEs

  • Business
  • Saturday, 20 Feb 2016


Malaysian Advertisers Association plans to expand its membership base

IN line with Malaysia’s move to become a high income nation by 2020, Malaysian Advertisers Association (MAA) is stepping up its initiatives to diversify its membership base to include small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which currently form the backbone of the country’s economy.

This has resulted in the recent entry of Business Network International (BNI) and the Malaysian Retail Chain Association (MRCA) as its affiliate members and the total membership of MAA hitting the 1,000 mark.

MAA president Margaret Au-Yong says the decision to include SMEs like the MRCA and BNI is to diversify its membership, which primarily consists of multinational corporations (MNCs).

“We are meeting the Government’s call in the next four years to be a developed nation and at the same time try to raise the bar in the advertising industry.

“MAA together with some its partners are constantly looking at ways to promote Malaysian brands and other marketing initiatives by local companies in the global market.

“By bringing in SMEs, for example, we can assist them in their branding and marketing efforts as we via our MNC members have the expertise to assist them in promoting their products and brands locally and abroad,’’ she tells StarBizWeek in an interview.

At the same time, Au-Yong adds the entry of BNI and MRCA and other SMEs will help its members, namely the MNCs to better understand the local business culture and entrepreneurship spirit as well as survival skills from SMEs as this group makes up more than 90% of business establishments in Malaysia.

One of the ways the association is looking at strengthening the advertising and marketing industry and enable more companies to gain global knowledge is by collaborating with the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA).

To this end, a global marketing conference will be held in Kuala Lumpur, the first of such event in South-East Asia.

The four-day event will be held from March 15 to 18 will show an impressive global line-up of marketers and thought-leaders that will aid the industry to greater success, she notes.

The conference also aims to highlight new ways to successfully engage the people within and externally, notably, employees as well as consumers to be advocates, content creators and distributors.

There will be host of renowned global speakers at the event.

The speakers, according Au-Yong will provide inspirational examples of innovation, new marketing platforms and initiatives from some of the world’s most exciting brands,

Among the speakers are AIRASIA Group CEO and founder Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, TATA Communications director, regional marketing, Asia Pacific Smita Gupta, HSBC regional head of marketing (Asia-Pacific) Suresh Balaji, Starcom MediaVest Group SE Asia, Chair, Asia Digital Leadership Team Jeff Siah and Mondelez regional marketing director (Latin America) Maria Mujica.

Every year the global marketer conference attracts over 500 delegates, which comprised of mainly local marketers and about 100 foreign delegates.

On another note, she says more seminars are being planned by MAA to highlight the various issues in the marketing and ad space and how best can one address these issues as well as the latest developments in the industry.

The recent forum organised by the association entitled Keeping It Legit! Self Regulation In Malaysian Advertising was well received by participants as the message echoed from the forum is for everyone, from product to media owner, to shoulder responsibility to protect the interest of the public interest as well as advertisers.

In a nutshell, ethical advertising is a collective effort.

MAA was also responsible in bringing some changes in the last Malaysia Effie Awards 2015 which saw introduction of the Global Effie Effectiveness Index, preliminary online judging and the introduction of the Brand of the Year award in a move to further boost the effectiveness of the awards, which is now in its eighth year running.

The Effie Awards is organised on a rotational basis every two years between MAA and the Association of Accredited Advertising Agents Malaysia (4As).

For this year, the awards will be organised by 4As.

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