‘Better Pitching, Better Relationships’

The International Advertising Association (IAA), UAE Chapter is set to stage a trilogy of industry debates to explore pervasive issues impacting the success of the communications industry in the region. The first panel of the ‘Better Pitching, Better Relationships’ series will take place on the 15th of February at Radisson Blu hotel in Dubai Media City. The series will bring together practitioners from all sides of the communications industry including clients, agencies and media representatives to participate in a panel discussions to address the impact of the pitching process on client/agency relationships and the wider communications process as a whole.

The series demonstrates the IAA’s leading role in supporting the development of the UAE’s communications industry, with the aim of formulating guiding principles and industry best practices around the pitch process. In addition, the IAA hopes that by facilitating this discussion it will help strengthen relationships between clients, agencies and media representatives, resulting in improved commercial performance for the industry.

Dr. Lance de Masi, President of the IAA, UAE Chapter commented: “Pitching is a popular method that advertisers use for selecting agencies. It is not likely to disappear anytime soon. As the role of communication as a key factor in business success increases and as the efficient deployment of resource becomes an issue of growing importance due to economic pressure, the effectiveness of prevailing pitch practices is under assault. Advertisers and agencies murmur, “There’s got to be a better way. . .” And when one factors ethical considerations into the analysis, the murmurs often turn into cries of desperation. The purpose of ‘Better Pitching, Better Relationships” is to reach consensus on what can be done to improve the process as it currently stands, resulting in a statement of best practices that the communications industry can endorse, embrace and put into practice.”
“There will always be lingering areas of disagreement and refusal to alter undesirable and senseless behavior; but by the time the series is over, with broad-scale participation by creative, media and PR agencies and - of course - advertisers, we will have done justice to the topic and for the first time in the history of the industry in this region, drafted a code of conduct to guide practice. The hope is that when we are finished there will be fewer versions of the truth and that we will have created for advertisers and agencies conditions for making more effective choices, resulting in stronger relationships and the superior output that comes with them.”, explained Dr. Lance.

The panels will be moderated by industry veteran Barry Gray, previously publisher of Gulf Marketing Review magazine, and founder of GMR Conferences and the annual GEMAS marketing awards. Panelists will include among others Kamal Dimachkie - Executive Regional Managing Director, Leo Burnett UAE, Kuwait and the Lower Gulf, Nassib Boueri - CEO of Wunderman / Y&R MENA with Fadi Ghosn, of General Motors Middle East who also chairs the Advertising Business Group.

About IAA, UAE Chapter

The UAE Chapter is the largest IAA Chapter worldwide today, with over 150 corporate members. This is testament to the significant growth of the regional marketing and advertising landscape in recent years.
The IAA UAE Chapter aims to encourage the growth and development of the industry in the UAE by consistently working to support organizations and professionals currently operating within the sector. It is keenly focused on the promotion of essential industry areas such as community, participation and engagement, on-going industry viability, knowledge, creativity and ethics.
Today, the IAA UAE Chapter takes a leading role in supporting the development of the UAE’s advertising community, bringing together practitioners from all corners of the industry and is committed to encouraging the proactive participation of industry individuals to create positive change.
The IAA UAE Chapter also seeks to support the long-term viability, or sustainability, of the UAE’s advertising industry by addressing business, development and client-agency relationship issues that could be improved by independent review.
As an active trade association, the IAA has made the development and accumulation of insight and knowledge central to its role, acting as a knowledge channel and trainer for its members and their organizations. To this end, it organizes networking events and affordable training while periodically conducting research into the industry in the UAE.
The IAA UAE Chapter also strongly believes that creativity is the cornerstone of the advertising community, the enhancement of which is central to the success of agency and client businesses alike.  IAA hosted events such as the Lynx Awards work to highlight and reward creativity while IAA-supported industry discussion works to address any existing unethical practices in agency or client activities, ensuring the positive and sustainable growth of the UAE’s advertising industry.
For more information on IAA in the UAE, please visit: www.iaauae.org