What other conclusion can one reach when The Economic Times, in one week, does a breaking news story on page one, and, three days later, has the Abbys report as the lead story on page one as well? The Abbys story was found by the editor to be more important, for example, than the cabinet reshuffle at the centre which saw six ministers being dropped and being replaced largely by the Congress’ youth brigade.
It was not only The Economic Times that saw the Goafest and the Abbys as being important. All the pink papers had at least one journalist and one photographer in attendance; all the business channels (including the to-be-launched offering from UTV) had teams covering the proceedings.
The attention bodes well for the advertising business at a time when it is struggling to look glamorous and sexy vis-а-vis other sectors such as media, retail and telecom. Interviews of the names in both Indian and international advertising in newspapers, TV channels and dotcoms would have been read and seen by those who couldn’t be at Goa and, more importantly, by those who are contemplating a career in advertising.
To people like me who read almost everything one comes across on advertising and media the past week has week been an information overload. Well done, team Linopinion, on getting the message out. In a week from now, the media and the advertising industry would have forgotten all about Goafest and about the Abbys. And, sadly, about issues that confront, challenge, confound and confuse the advertising industry in India.
One month before the Goafest next year, we will all wake up again.
The Advertising Agencies Association of India and Ad Club, Bombay must create reasons for the media to continue to be in love with advertising. They must keep creating reasons for The Economic Times to feature the advertising industry on the front page, for the business news channels to feature advertising outside of magazine shows. Agencies and individuals need to do their bit as well. Look for, and create, stories that will interest the media. Does the CEO play golf? Does the creative director play the flute? Is the account planner a poet? Can the junior copywriter cook up a mean Spanish omelette?
So much for finding ways to stay in the news. Now for the more serious concern: issues in the industry. Why wait till February next year in an attempt to make Goafest and the Abbys all-inclusive? Call for a meeting of the AAAI and the Ad Club immediately; use clout, persuasion and charm to ensure that all those who matter attend. Discuss the issue threadbare, again, again and again, till all outstanding issues are resolved.
Three years of the Goafest and one year of the Abbys at Goafest form a strong foundation. A foundation that the industry needs to build on and strengthen. Next year’s edition must be more meaningful, relevant and useful.
Having been elevated to lead story status in the ET, there is obviously a lot at stake. Too much at stake to be discussed on just one occasion per year.