The Association of Accredited Advertising Agents (4As) was founded in 1948, when Singapore was still under Malaya. There is still an active sister organisation in Malaysia today. The 4As Singapore represents local agencies, suppliers and practitioners while retaining links to autonomous 4A groups around the region.
It acts as a body that regulates guidelines to be practiced by its members and helps maintain advertising standards amongst ad and marketing communication agencies in Singapore.
Current membership stands above $80, consisting of international agencies as well as local agencies. The two categories of membership are full and affiliate members. Members pay an entrance fee of $1,200 and subsequent payments of $800 for full membership while there is a reduced fee of $500 for affiliates. The 4As recently amended its Constitution to admit not only agencies but also marketing and communications companies.
One of the benefits, they claim, of joining the organisation is that the member agency is represented by a stronger voice. As the 4As works closely with other associations, it has a powerful impact when making representations to the government or relevant boards.
Having been around for more than four decades, the 4As has many achievements of which to be proud. These include implementing the Singapore Code of Advertising Practice and providing expertise to the advisory council of the Advertising Standards Authority. They also set up the Joint Education Council with the other main trade associations –the Advertising Media Owners Association Singapore (AMOAS), Singapore Advertisers Association (SAA). The 4As has also assisted, with expertise and funding, the development of Media Circulation Services. It was just two years after the foundation of Creative Circle Awards, they stepped forward to assist in the onerous task of organising this major event each year for the Singapore creative community.
The 4As has a secretariat office located at the Mandarin Singapore. It is run by Executive Director, Florence Oh, assisted by Noor Aisha as well as projects executive, Gregory Danker. They seek relevant sponsors from media owners, commercial and production houses and relevant bodies to implement and co-ordinate various programmes and services for members. The secretariat works closely with AMOAS, SAA, and Association of Broadcasters Singapore (ABS), with mutual goals to benefit the industry.
To collaborate a closer academia-industry within advertising community, the 4As has launched an education task force, ‘Ad-Ucation Council’ consisting of participants of Temasek, Ngee Ann and Singapore Polytechnic, NTU, NUS, La-Selle/SIA and NAFA. By working closely with these tertiary institutions, the development of an industry-appropriate labour force is more feasible.
The 4As constantly seeks to upgrade Singapore in terms of creative standards. By organising events like the Creative Circle Awards and successfully launching the inaugural Student Crowbar awards last year, the 4As aims to acknowledge creative talent.
“What is great is the satisfaction seeing all these wonderful creatives. It is very inspiring. It’s also nice to know that through the CCA Awards and especially the Crowbar Awards, you’re helping them in the future development of their careers.” commented Ms Oh. This proved very true when two students from the last Crowbar group immediately gained positions in international agencies.
The 4As’ most recent coup was, as the Secretariat for the bidding committee, their success in pulling the bi-annual ADASIA Conference to Singapore in 2005.
Upcoming Events 2002: Annual General Meeting; Students Creative Awards; Screening of CLIO Awards; and Creative Circle Awards.
Article published in AdAsia April 2002