Miss Connie Chan, Managing Director of MEC, officially took over the Presidency of 4As (Association of Accredited Advertising Agents Singapore) making her the first woman President in the history of the 64 year-old Association.
With 18 years’ local and international Media Advertising experience, Miss Chan has a unique career profile in Singapore. She was a founder member of MEC Global Solutions, Asia’s first and still the largest and most successful specialist company providing international planning and management services for multi-market clients.
Unfazed by the challenges that the Advertising Industry faced in the last decade, in particular advertising agencies whose revenue streams are affected from price wars to changes in media landscape, Miss Chan took up the challenge in heading the 4As to continue its pursuit of elevating the stature of advertising, media and marketing communications business.
Under the watch of her predecessor, Mr. Theodore Choo, the 4As began making the shift from just being a Trade Association of traditional Ad Agencies, to an Organisation that can function as a Hub for all players in the Industry, working towards having a broad representation of Industry players and other groups. Today, it does this through an “inclusive” approach” with three member Categories – Full, Affiliate and Individual Memberships.
Miss Chan said of her own goals for the longstanding Association, “The 4As will strive to maintain its leadership as a key industry, trade and professional Organization. As an advocate of better business and professional practices, we will continue to address the issue of Agency value-add. Already remuneration from the media commission system of the past has become a blend of commissions and fees, encouraging our members to focus on more tangible and value-added aspects of their service. It is essential that players in the AdMarcomm industry work its way to stay in the Boardroom – where global thinking and effective business solutions are paramount.”
On her priorities as President and what’s next for the 4As, Miss Chan is focusing on the need for industry players to strengthen their positions as exponents of Creativity. “I believe that Creativity and Strategic Thinking are the Industry’s biggest assets. The Digital revolution has distracted many practitioners from focusing on these two essentials. To operate higher in the eco chain practitioners MUST continue to provide solutions that go beyond craft and technology”
In 2012, the 4As launched a programme for Talent Development. Under this scheme, it has re-positioned its existing Creative Shows into events which have an added objective of developing Singapore as Centre for Creative Excellence.
The Association is already working with Govt Agencies and partners from in and outside of Singapore, to increase its momentum. At the Young Professional level, the Association’s popular “Crowbar” Festival is evolving into a “crucible” programme , working with tertiary institutions, government agencies, and eventually commercial sponsors to “fast-track” graduates coming into the industry into effective creative professionals and entrepreneurs. At the professional level, the Association’s flagship creative Awards show (Gong 2012, The Singapore Creative Circle Awards) has been re-created to provide more emphasis on local creativity.