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It represents more than 65 per cent of the private sector advertising expenditure

Jun 12 - 18, 2000

The 25th May dawned a little earlier for the 40 representatives of national and multinational organizations who, as members, were to attend the 3rd Annual General Meeting of the Pakistan Advertisers Society (PAS). The proceedings got underway with a lag of only ten minutes. The keynote speaker, Javed Jabbar, Minister for Information, had begged off at the last minute. The Chairman of the Society, Tariq Ikram, who is a Minister of State and Chairman Export Promotion Bureau, was also busy in Islamabad.

PAS, the collective voice of the advertisers, represents more than 65 per cent of the private sector advertising expenditure of the country. The Society currently has 40 members and aspires to reach 60 members or more by the end of this year. A select group of 225-250 attendees, representing a cross section of the marketers, advertising agencies, media and market research and media planning/buying houses attended the function. As an added bonus, and to give the attendees a 'charge and a high', the latest Cleo winning commercials were also presented.

Two additional features were built-in to honour the members with presentations of individualized specially crafted crystal commemoratives bearing inscriptions of company names. A limited series of Certificates recognizing special assistance, effort and contribution in helping establish the PAS were awarded to individuals from organizations deemed meritorious.

The Secretary of the Society, Nadeem Hussain, Country General Manager, Global Consumer Bank of Citibank, opened the session with a welcome address. He thanked the sponsors as the prime supporters that made this event possible and the support provided by co-sponsors. Overviewing the progress of the Society, in terms of the major research project already undertaken, and the two in progress, he spoke of the impressive growth in the numbers of members of PAS.

He then moved to the individual Committee reports starting with the Promotion and Publicity Committee that put this event together. Next came the Report of Ayaz Bokhari of Shell Pakistan, whose committee reviews advertising in conflict and adjudicates, on ethics and good advertising practice. Mehmood Haideri took the audience through the plans of his Committee, which sees creating opportunities for advertising professionals. Nadeem who heads the Audience Measurement Committee detailed the nature of the bidders on the TV Audience Measurement and the collaborative efforts of foreign companies with locals and their interest in Pakistan. The service he said would be syndicated and the users will be able to contract a differentiated slate of measurement services over the next decade.

The programme saw Hameed Haroon address the gathering by standing-in at the last minute for the inimitable saved Jabbar. While most eloquent in a high brow but eclectic style, Haroon held forth on the market research in general and media research in particular. While stating that he did not wish to hold up his organization as a role model, he however, went on to list the wonderful attributes of the research of his organization. He felt that mistakes are made in research. He still felt that considering that it was the first major undertaking of its type, PAS had broken new ground with its mega project.

Later, Hameed Haroon presented the crystal commemoratives to members. Certificates were also presented to the recipients with the citations that were in support of the certificates.

Tariq Ikram did make it in the nick of time to address the gathering. He lauded the efforts of the Council of the PAS in getting the number of members up to 40 in the last 9 months and the tremendous work that had been done in the research area that had benefited the marketing and advertising community alike.

He went on to discuss his portfolio and the daunting challenges that faced the country. He, however, sounded upbeat that a 'turn around' was possible and that we were in with a chance to make a difference to the future of the country. Ikram then volunteered to become the 41- member of PAS after due process with the government had taken place with proper authority and approvals. Ikram was then awarded a special citation for his leadership of the Society.

A 30-minute reel of selected award winning commercials that had been adjudged under the global umbrella of Cleo Awards was shown to the gathering. A novel, and as yet not experienced feature of the function was the 'Loot Bag' which had been made-up of products and giveaways by the members of the Society. Each loot bag contained 'goodies' given by most of the members of the PAS.