The Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI) has decided to go all mushy and nostalgic. By the time this appears in print, the valedictory session, if one could call it that, of the Diamond Jubilee of the AAAI would have taken place.

As the curtain rings down on a significant landmark year, President S. K. Swamy (yes, he would have been unanimously elected for a record third term by the time you read this) decided to honour the past presidents of the Association.

The event was to include a high-powered dinner at the Taj on August 2 and no effort was being spared to make this a very special evening.

Keeping in mind that the past presidents include every very important person in the agency business, and also that the Presidents of the INS, IBF and ISA are being included, the event would definitely merit a detailed report. Watch this space.

Abby/Triple A Awards

The action on the prestigious Abby awards and the awards from the AAAI stable is beginning rather early this year. Our sources tell us President of the AdClub Kalpana Rao called an exclusive meeting of some heavies to officially discuss what their strategy should be. Well begun, they say, if half done. Looks like Madame President is not taking the issue lightly. Well, she shouldn't, after the ulcers it gave her last year. It was pretty creditable that she pulled off a good show, but an award without the participation of many leading agencies leaves things a little incomplete.

The AAAI, on the other hand, showed it could pull in the crowds with its Goa Fest. That event should bolster its confidence significantly.

The million-dollar question is really what does the industry want? One award, or two? Will the industry please rise and answer the question?

Send-off for Ashu

Ashutosh Srivastava (CEO-South Asia, Group M) might have a relatively low profile, but he seems to be a popular guy. Heading off to Singapore to take over the regional role he will be playing, Ashu, as he is known to friends, is enjoying a whirl of parties in his honour.

G. Krishnan of TV Today hosted a big do for Ashu high up above the fashionable Marine Drive. With what could easily be one of the best views in town, the setting was perfect.

Considering the deadly buying clout of Group M and the well-known hospitality of GK, the party was obviously well attended. Maybe we'll give you a more detailed peek into what happened, next week

ABC-certified

Agencyfaqs is obviously thrilled to bits that its portal has been certified by the ABC, a first in India. The question that strikes our mind is: Why hasn't the ABC in India started certifying portals?

After all, advertisers would love to know what they are paying for. And portals would happily pay for the privilege.

Would the Council of the ABC please take note? Advertising on the Net may be little acorns now, but remember that big oaks grow from precisely these acorns.

Hero No.1

The real celebrity on television was not the Big B or King Khan. It was a little boy called Prince who was trapped underground and rescued after a tense two days.

But in the interim, TV channels played out the story ad nauseam and we are sure everybody in India knows of this little Prince. Now we are waiting for the advertising industry to transform him from a real life hero into a reel life one. Adversity sometimes has its advantages.

Insurance

After Terror Tuesday in Mumbai, one could not help noticing an advertisement released by Tata AIG Insurance. The simple advertisement appeared almost immediately and proclaimed, "We're here to help." Prominently displayed telephone numbers completed the action line.

Quite honestly, the simple statement from an insurance company immediately after the blasts did a world of positive image building for the company. Others followed, but a first mover deserves all the credit.

Victoria

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated August 3, 2006)
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