Ireland/Davenport responds to ACA suspension
Ireland/Davenport has issued a response to a decision by the Association for Communication and Advertising (ACA) to suspend it, along with DDB South Africa and Wunderman South Africa, from the organisation. The three agencies were found guilty of transgressing the ACA’s Code of Conduct governing tenders and pitches.
Ireland Davenport (ID) has taken note of a statement sent out by the industry regulator, the Association of Communications and Advertising (ACA), confirming its decision to suspend our ACA membership for a period of twelve months following ID’s participation in a pitch to secure the Telkom account.
ACA came to a conclusion that our participation, as part of a WPP consortium, made of three agencies, in the Telkom pitch contravened its Code of Conduct, which forbids its members from participating in non-paid pitches. While we acknowledge that we should not have participated in a non-paid pitch we believe that the penalty is too harsh.
ID believes the penalty could have a negative impact on efforts to racially transform the advertising industry.
“We have taken a decision to appeal the penalty and we will file a written submission to ACA. Furthermore, ID will undertake an extensive internal review of its pitching processes to ensure that this regrettable oversight does not occur again,” said ID chairman Mosidi Seretlo.
“Ireland Davenport takes good corporate governance issues seriously. It is for this reason that we have been an ACA member for the past 12 years to maintain the integrity and well-being of the industry. We remain committed to ACA’s mission, regulations, and Code of Conduct,” said Seretlo.
ID would also like to take this opportunity to confirm its steadfast commitment to the transformation agenda of the advertising industry, which has resulted in the agency having a 51% black ownership.
“We are one of the few black-owned agencies in South Africa. Our board has a 50% black representation and 50% of executives in our management are black. We are also making a big contribution in developing black skills within the industry,” said Seretlo.
Through our ID Lab initiative, which has been running for the past four years, we have produced black talent that is making a meaningful contribution to our industry. We look forward to developing many skilled black professionals in our industry.
We remain committed to upholding ACA’s non-paid pitch principle and its implementation to encourage fair; equitable; levelling of the playing field for small agencies; healthy competition; transformation; and protection of agencies’ intellectual property.