Friday, January 9, 2009


Ok, I realise that this is actually old news, but not being a member of CAANZ, I hadn't heard...

Why, oh why, have CAANZ set up a Digital Leadership Group? Apparently, this group "...has been established to provide a strong industry voice to assist New Zealand businesses as they adapt to remain competitive in an increasingly digitised and interactive environment." Ah, we already have that. It's called the Interactive Advertising Bureau. I am not going to list everything that the IAB do and stand for, as they are pretty all encompassing with digital media.

There are a few points that really irk me about the DLG.
  1. Why have CAANZ set up this 'group' for digital media when they don't bother for any other media?
  2. At what point did 2 of the 'senior digital leaders' (Andre Louis, Publicis Digital and Chris Riley, OMD Digital) who have been included in this illustrious group not stop and say, "wait a minute, we're also on the Agency Sub-Committee for this other interactive industry body who do exactly what the DLG would like to one day achieve - why don't we just back them up rather than adding another notch to our belts??"
  3. At what point are they providing a strong industry voice to assist New Zealand businesses? From what I can see on their 'blog' they mostly focus on what is going on outside of NZ. Their blogs include information about:
  • AAA Town - US
  • Sprint - US
  • Online participation - US figures
  • Barack Obama online campaign - US
  • BBC - UK
  • Mint Money Management - US
  • Music Glue - UK
  • Online advertising in economic downturn - US information
  • Energy Saving Trust - UK
  • Frank's Cocaine Basement - UK
While I get that the US and UK are more mature markets than NZ when it comes to all things digital, why are they not looking some of the great campaigns and things that we're doing? Isn't the point to be building, encouraging and growing the NZ market? Yes, some of our trends here will follow the US and UK, but not in entirety.

I feel as though, while probably with good intentions, this DLG is only going to confuse people, especially those who don't spend their lives online, and understand what else is out there. The current board of the IAB has some serious smart cookies in there. Mark Evans (and the board - and sub-committees also) have done a brilliant job over the last 2 years building it up, encouraging further learning, auditing NZ online spend and sharing information. The DLG sounds to me like another ego boost.

Get your hand off it, go to the IAB website and check out what people who really care about the NZ interactive industry are doing about it.

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