The Association of Accredited Advertising Agents Malaysia (4As) will reduce and, in some cases, waive its annual membership levy for 2020, to ameliorate the impact of COVID-19 on its member agencies. Agencies with an annual revenue of less than RM3 million will be granted a levy reduction of 100%, while agencies with an annual revenue of RM9 million and above will be granted a levy reduction of 25%. All other member agencies will receive either a 50% or 75% levy reduction, depending on their revenue tier.
Andrew Lee, president of 4As, said as a result of the reductions, 4As will forgo an estimated 55% of its 2020 income derived from membership levies. “COVID-19 and the resulting extended Movement Control Order have put agencies in a position of making decisions that we have never made before. We need to remain passionate with our work and to be more creative in finding solutions to problems we may not have encountered before," Lee said.
He added that clients are also facing the same challenges and pressures that agencies are. "They need us more than ever right now, and we are committed to helping them navigate uncertainty, pivot plans quickly and to offer them support,” he added.
Besides the 4As, Marrybrown also recently waived advertising funds and franchise royalty fees during the MCO period for all its franchisees until May 2020. It is also in the midst of extending this waiver option to its global franchise partners including those in Sweden, China, India, Singapore, Thailand, Maldives and among others affected by the pandemic situation.
Separately in January, 4As CEO Khairudin Rahim addressed the issue of brain drain in advertising, saying that agencies must embrace talent development and training as a key component of their business development. Khairudin said traditional companies are unlikely to hold on to the new generation of talent unless more fluid and flexible environments are provided.
According to him, the establishment of innovation hubs, start-up incubators, and time to pursue personal projects in some industries are examples of how an entrepreneurial drive can be directed to the benefit of both the individual and companies. The consequence is a culture that thrives on curiosity and inspiration which will create a more interesting environment and enjoyable place of work.
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