By Joey Natividad, Special Correspondent
PILI, Camarines Sur – Considered a very successful event by organizers of the 22nd Philippine Advertising Congress held in Pili, this province on November 16 -19, however, many delegates and guests went home feeling short of their expectations with more questions left unanswered.
The ad congress main theme is “Change The Game”, which had created a strong impression among stakeholders in the media and advertising industry that something big will come out during the congress. Speculations had lingered around among delegates, observers, and guests that position papers shall be presented by the key players regarding government policies, professional fees, corporate advertisers/advertising agencies relationship and contracts, etc. that is hoped to level the playing field.
While the heavyweights are making good, are the small players faring well? Will the game rules be change to accommodate the small players?
But, as it turned out, the 22nd Ad Congress was the big event for the big guns, the heavy weights. The big Three television giants were there – GMA 7, ABS-CBN, ABC 5. The big Three newspapers giants were also there – Philippine Daily Inquirer, Manila Bulletin, Philippine Star, the big ad agencies, and the big corporate advertisers – Smart, Globe, Marlboro, Philip Morris, Coca Cola, Purefoods, Universal Robina Corporations, Nestle, San Miguel,etc.
It was so big among the big players. Camarines Sur Governor L-Ray got so much advertising mileage, including this province. But, the small players were left out in the cold.
A lady delegate of Atlas Advertising told BicolToday.Com that small ad agencies are not making enough money. “We are not getting that much income, what we got are ex-deals from clients in exchange for ad and promotion services.” the lady delegate told this correspondent that the small players need the cash rather than products offered in ex-deals.
Andre Kahn, chair of AD Board, discreetly admitted without being blunt that the advertising industry is facing hard times, in reaction to the on-going global economic crunch. He admitted that the stability of the peso has managed to keep things manageable, as he spoke before media groups during the first day of the Ad Congress. Even Manuel Pangilinan, chair of ABC 5, admitted in dry humor, that it is “end of the world” for everybody, but boastfully declared that ABC 5 is “doing fine”.
Only few made it above difficult times – these are the top advertising agencies who handle top corporate accounts. BicolToday.Com learned that outdoor advertising is going on the upswing. Even, the newspaper giants are using outdoor ads and streamers to promote their newspapers, – an admission that newspaper readerships are going down, and readers prefer to click the “on-line” versions. Fewer newspaper (print) readerships mean lesser print advertisements, translated easily into lesser income – a nightmare among publishers.
The big 3 TV giants are cashing on the popular variety shows catering to the “masa” crowd in order to assure advertisers that viewership is at prime time for that particular hour. Otherwise, TV ads will dip low as TV audience interests will shift for cable channels where advertisers are low.
Pangilinan of ABC 5 is cool despite of the crunch. He told delegates during his talk that the guy who is wired up most of the time will be their future market. He said the use of digital communication technology will make “primetime as anytime.” However, Eugenio Lopez, chair of ABS-CBN, showed optimism, giving faith that television “shall be around in the coming years”, and philosophized that “new digital gadgets must connect with the heart . . . and must have a place in the heart.”
Despite of the failure to address the depressing environment, delegates had managed to keep their composure and managed to project that immortal advertising image “hey guys! we are doing fine.” But, observers and insiders know that all is for show. Bicoltoday.com
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