Ensemble’s application to join the Association of Accredited Advertising Agents Malaysia (4As) was rejected as it did not comply with the Rules of the Association, clarified Dato’ Johnny Mun, 4As President.

Mun added that only a registered company can qualify to apply to be a 4As member. Ensemble, part of the IPG Mediabrands Group, is a “brand”, not a company. Ensemble subsequently applied to be a 4As member through Futureplay Sdn Bhd, an IPG Mediabrands Group company, but failed to qualify based on two administrative criteria.

“The rejection of Ensemble bears no relevance as to whether they are a creative or media agency,” noted Mun. “Ensemble is aware of these requirements as clearly stated in a letter rejecting their initial application.”

Mun added that questions regarding its failure to meet the criteria should be answered by Ensemble. He also said that Futureplay Sdn Bhd is encouraged to re-apply after fulfiling the required criteria.

“While we welcome membership applications, they must adhere to the pre and post membership obligations,” said Mun. “We are mindful that the advertising industry is evolving and we must institute changes to be relevant in the current environment. However, rules are rules, and we must abide by them to maintain professional standards.”

Mun emphasized that while the 4As valued and championed outstanding creative work, membership in the 4As is not solely about awards shows. The stringent criteria for membership is to ensure a high level of quality and credibility of agencies representing the 4As.

he 4As’s response to Ensemble’s rejection is linked to a social media posting by Lau Su Lin, Head of Marketing, Maxis Communications, who argued that the 4As “take a more inclusive definition of what constitutes a creative firm”. Ensemble handles creative executions for Maxis.

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