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4As Malaysia CEO Khairudin Rahim steps down

4As Malaysia CEO Khairudin Rahim steps down

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CEO of 4As Malaysia Khairudin Rahim will be exiting the marketing communications industry, which he has been a part of for nearly five decades. He stepped down as the Association of Accredited Advertising Agents Malaysia (4As) Chief Executive Officer on April 30 at the expiry of his contract.

Khairudin, one of the country’s most vocal advertising personalities, was appointed as 4As CEO in 2015, and prior to that had been an elected member of the 4As Council for three terms.

“It has been a very fruitful nine years. I was truly blessed to be given the privilege to serve the creative industry post my retirement from Lowe&Partners. The unwavering support of past, current 4As presidents and council allowed me to deliver on the varied priorities of the 4As," said Khairudin when MARKETING-INTERACTIVE reached out.

"It was a smooth ride and for that I'm very appreciative of. The priorities jointly set were all delivered and more. There were no items left hanging.”

Don't miss: 4As Malaysia expands benefits to include free legal advice for agencies

Tan Sri Vincent Lee, honorary life president of the 4As, said, “The industry will lose one of the best professionals in the country. He served the 4As extremely well during his tenure and will be hard to replace.” Lee also claims that he was a supporter of Khairudin being appointed CEO when passing the baton to the incoming president. The CEO position did not exist previously. At the time Khairudin accepted the role, he had retired from agency life.

His last position was chairman of multinational agency Lowe&Partners, where he served for more than 30 years and was the custodian of an enviable roster of market leader brands, including Unilever, Johnson&Johnson, Sara Lee, IKEA, HSBC and Petronas.

During his nine years as the 4As CEO, Khairudin has spoken out on a host of industry issues, including calling out of advertisers who demand ownership of the advertising agency’s pitch ideas, strategy and work, without compensation as part of their pitch terms and conditions. The mandatory disbursement of “pitch fees” in 2006 is also something he put in place, where advertisers had to reimburse 4As member agencies that were invited to a competitive pitch. Lee added, “Without him, we wouldn’t have launched the mandatory pitch fee rule. This was and still is crucial as a protective mechanism for all 4As agencies.”

“I hope the next CEO will be as passionate as Din,” Lee added. Khairudin’s contributions are not confined to the pitch disbursement idea. He introduced new advertisement rules in the Content Code that barred the use and commercial exploitation of religion in advertising. In 2015, Khairudin spearheaded the forging of an alliance with the UK’s Chartered Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) and 4As scholarship programme.

Most recently, he organised an alliance between the 4As and legal firms to provide member agencies with a free first consultation for legal advice.

Khairudin, started his advertising career in 1975 at McCann-Erickson at the age of 19. He joined Lowe & Partners (previously known as Lintas), his second and final agency in 1978 as account manager. Post a three-year secondment to Lintas Sydney for immersion and fluency in strategy planning, winning new business and agency leadership, he was eventually promoted to managing director in 1995.

Under his leadership and together with his talented colleagues, Lowe was chosen as the most creative agency within the Lowe global network in 2004.

Photo courtesy of 4As Malaysia's official website 

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