Campaign India Team
Aug 03, 2010

Anant’s blog: Enough, already!

Reading the reports and the comments of some of those involved in the recently concluded elections to the various posts on the AAAI executive committee could make you believe we were talking about elections in Jharkhand. Accusations of rigging, manipulation, intimidation, cross-voting. Everything you would hear with reference to the Jharkhand elections, except bribery and murder.And we’re talking about the AAAI?The Association is small; less than 100 members in the ‘electoral college’.

Anant’s blog: Enough, already!

Reading the reports and the comments of some of those involved in the recently concluded elections to the various posts on the AAAI executive committee could make you believe we were talking about elections in Jharkhand. Accusations of rigging, manipulation, intimidation, cross-voting. Everything you would hear with reference to the Jharkhand elections, except bribery and murder.

And we’re talking about the AAAI?

The Association is small; less than 100 members in the ‘electoral college’.

These hundred handle almost all the big brands in India, buy media to the extent of, I would estimate, at least 90% of the time and space consumed.

Most of the members know each other by name, by face, by reputation. They’ve met each other in industry gatherings, they’ve had lunches and dinners together, they’re had a drink or two together.

It shouldn’t be too difficult to talk to each other and sort differences out, one would think.

Think again. The early signs were that the elections would be acrimonious – and they were. The elections were held, Nagesh Alai won, Sandeep Goyal didn’t and that was the end of that, or so one thought.

One thought wrong. Goyal unleashed a broadside, accusing the Alai ‘camp’ of resorting to means fair and foul to win – and, in an interview, said that he was thinking of taking legal action.

The Alai ‘camp’ hasn’t reacted.

Thank God for that.

There are too many dangers in a  split in the AAAI – which could certainly happen if things carry on as they are doing. It immediately reduces the negotiating power of the agencies vis-à-vis the INS, the IBF, the ISA, the government and their various tax departments, and so on.

Imagine, for example, that the AAAI splits and that agencies have to deal directly with publications and conclude private, bilateral deals.

It’s the small agencies with small clients who will be in big trouble, perhaps even being forced to pay up-front, if there is no body like the AAAI taking responsibility for payments.

Make no mistake about this. It is not just those in advertising and media agencies who are keeping tabs on the shameful goings on in the AAAI; the INS, the IBF and the ISA will be staring intently.

There’s too much at stake for this muck-raking to carry on.

Alai and Goyal may not see eye to eye on various individual issues, but they have to learn to present a united front vis-à-vis other associations that are part of the ecosystem.

There will be the pain of loss as far as Goyal is concerned, but that is small compared to the loss that can accrue to the industry as a whole if the mess continues.

It’s time Alai and Goyal picked up the phone, spoke to each other and met with a view to narrowing their differences.

The simple truth is if the washing of dirty linen in public continues, they will both lose – as will all the members of the AAAI.

Enough. Pick up the phone.

Source:
Campaign India