On Wednesday, 5 July, the Association for Communication and Advertising (ACA) held its 70th Annual General Meeting at the AAA School of Advertising campus in Johannesburg, where the new board of directors for the 2017/2018 fiscal were elected. Outgoing chair of the ACA Board, Mike Gendel, reported on the ACA’s activities during the preceding fiscal.
You can view the new board of directors for the 2017/2018 fiscal in our gallery.
Looking forward to the ensuing period, Gendel stated that "according to the IMF, GDP growth in 2017 is projected at a nominal 0.8%, which will see depressed consumer demand and a knock-on conservative approach by marketers".
On a positive note, Gendel announced that "since the MAC Sector Charter was gazetted under Section 9(1) of the Act on 6 May 2016, the ACA Secretariat has moved from acting as ‘architect and author’ of the Code to being a ‘facilitator and mentor’ and the three-stage education and mentorship programme has received excellent feedback from our member agencies who have experienced the benefits".
Addressing education and training, Gendel advised that the education sector was not for the faint-hearted and that the AAA School of Advertising had some challenges to overcome. He announced that the AAA board is currently exploring various business and marketing strategies to reposition the school and increase the brand’s attractiveness in the market.
With skills development being an important sustainable pillar of true transformation in our country, Gendel added that there is a need to up the game in marketing and advertising profession to teenagers, their parents, and school administrators.
He added "I would like to see a major effort undertaken by the ACA in the 2017 to 2020 period, including setting ambitious skills development goals and monitoring the impact of our strategy on our member agency staffing and retention levels".
On matters of the ASA and self-regulation, Gendel announced that the ACA had gone ‘above and beyond’ its responsibility and mandate in participating in the restructuring and rebirth of the ASA and, as a director on the ASA board, he noted his appreciation to all from the ACA who assisted as pro-bono specialist consultants or donors.
Gendel went on to note the important role the ACA plays in protecting the business' interests of its member agencies. He continued by saying that it is of vital importance that the ACA builds on this hard-won reputation for insisting on fair business practice and protection of intellectual property, by standing united in tenders and pitches.
He also voiced his appreciation with respect to the brand reputation and the high esteem in which the ACA is held in the broader business community. He pledged the support of the board to the idea of ‘future-proofing’ the profession through defending intellectual property, investing in education, and training and continuing to hone skills in an ever-changing media landscape.
The outgoing chair, furthermore, noted the continued excellence achieved by the world class APEX Awards and how it continues to impress marketers and advertising practitioners. He complimented the ACA CEO and APEX Portfolio Chair, Gareth Leck, for continuing to steer the annual APEX Awards in the right directions and for enhancing its reputation.
In terms of additional ACA assets, Gendel noted that as of July, 115 registered marketers will be using the ACA Agency Locator app to identify custom variables about 36 registered ACA member agencies in good standing.
Gendel went on to add that the year in the review had seen continued challenges with regards to legislative and regulatory matters, most notably the United Kingdom ASA implementation of rules banning the advertising of high fat, salt, or sugar (HFSS) food or drink products in media targeting under-16-year-olds.
He went on to note the proposed implementation of the 'so-called' sugar tax touted by the government would have a significant effect on marketing investment. On the proposed restrictions on alcohol advertising, Gendel noted that while it is being debated at Nedlac between government, as well as business and labour at this time, the South African Liquor Brand Owners Association (SALBA) believes that the bill will be delayed.
Gendel expressed his thanks to the hard-working outgoing board and other agency personnel who served on the various operational committees. A special note of thanks went to the ACA vice chairs for always providing him, and the CEO, with counsel, advice, and guidance, and to CEO, Odette van der Haar, who continues to set the benchmark for passion and tireless commitment to achieving the goals that this board has set her and to Russell Cory, as well as the rest of the ACA team.
In conclusion, he wished the incoming board well, noting that they are inheriting a robust, efficient association, with a hardworking, determined culture; one that is highly respected in the broader business community and in government.
For more information, visit www.acasa.co.za.