MANILA, PHILIPPINES — The Association of Accredited Advertising Agencies (4As) of the Philippines recently conducted its first General Membership Meeting for 2022, where it welcomed its newly elected officers and trustees and discussed its plans and programs for the year. The event was held at the Manila House Private Club in Bonifacio Global City and streamed live to 4As members and industry association heads via Zoom last March 9.
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez delivered the keynote speech during the event, thanking the advertising and marketing communication sector for contributing to the government’s efforts to support entrepreneurs and bolster consumer trust. He also expressed confidence that the sector will continue supporting the DTI even after the change in government administration come end-June.
“In the past two years, advertising and marketing communication had boosted our efforts in the government in helping the micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to thrive and participate in the internet economy. By similarly adjusting and adapting to the rapid changes with the use of digital technology, the advertising sector has opened up more channels to reach consumers,” Sec. Lopez said.
“In a few months, we shall be going through a change in government administration, confident that the industry will remain one of DTI’s staunch partners in economic recovery and consumer protection,” he said, concluding his speech.
Leading the association’s officers for 2022 are Chairperson Golda Roldan, CEO of Wunderman Thompson; President Norman Agatep, who is also Grupo Agatep’s President & Managing Director; and Vice President Teeny Gonzales, CEO & CCO of Seven AD.
Joining them are Board Secretary Anna Norbert, Group Chief Culture Officer of DDB Philippines; Treasurer Hans Gahol, Senior Director for Account Management & Business Development at WOO; and Corporate Controller JC Valenzuela, CEO & President of Propel Manila 360.
The 4As also welcomed BBDO Guerrero Creative Chairman David Guerrero, TBWA Santiago Mangada Puno Chairman & CCO Melvin Mangada, and Evident Integrated Marketing and PR CEO Cecile Yujuico as Trustees.
“As I pass the seat to the incoming Chairperson, I am confident she will be taking care of the 4As and its members and take comfort in the fact that most of last year’s hardworking Trustees are also on this year’s Board, to give her all the support she needs,” Mangada said as the 4As outgoing chairperson.
In her speech, Roldan harkened back to 2019, the year the 4As first laid out its vision of “Creativity Means Business,” which she said has helped many members in designing their respective business frameworks as they braved the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, the association decided to revisit this vision given the new realities of today, where people, she said, “are now reevaluating their lives and reassessing what’s important to them.”
“I am roused by this cultural inspiration from our WT Future Trends called The Great Reassessment. Our spirits have been tested. We are now dealing with the fallout from the pandemic. It uncovered the challenges that had been ignored when business was good and robust. We’ve gone through pivot after pivot after pivot. We are witnessing people secure in their jobs really thinking – is this the job for me?” Roldan said.
In the process of revisiting that vision, 4As also reassessed what it can do for its members, the whole industry, and society in general. This is reflected in the numerous initiatives that the association has planned for 2022.
“This year, we will create programs that will engage with our people and inspire them to see and appreciate that we do have shared values, that they play significant roles in contributing to the growth of our whole industry,” Roldan said.
Agatep gave a preview of what’s in store for the association and its members this 2022, starting with plans to recruit more member agencies beyond advertising that are still contributing to marketing communication in the country; a stronger push for career development and learning through General Membership Meetings and more accessible Aral Sessions, centered on topics relevant to new realities in the industry; revisions on the 4As Code of Ethics and by-laws to keep up with the times; and a reinvigorated system of information dissemination to members.
In addition, the association is working on a number of initiatives aimed at external stakeholders, which will contribute to the industry as a whole. These include workshops for advertising and marketing communication professionals and other efforts that will uplift creative business, and with the help of the Ad Standards Council, promote self-regulation.
Finally, the 4As is also amping up its contribution to society by participating in discussions with regulators and policymakers on the impact of marketing communication on the lives of Filipinos, and by reviewing its own policies and guidelines to ensure consumer protection and uplift of humanity, to name a few.