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IPA president Nigel Vaz outlines 'reimagine' manifesto

01 May 2019  |  David Pidgeon 
IPA president Nigel Vaz outlines 'reimagine' manifesto

Picture credit: ©BronacMcNeill

The new president of the IPA has today outlined his two-year agenda, calling for the ad industry to become "partners for growth" in a world of "fundamental change" for clients.

Publicis Groupe's Nigel Vaz - who succeeds Sarah Golding, the CEO of The&Partnership - delivered his first speech as president at the IPA's Members' Lunch on Wednesday (May 1), during which he said his objective will be to change the IPA’s relevance to agencies, and the relevance of agencies to clients.

"The rate and scale of change is greater than at any time in living memory, made possible by technology and ultimately driven by the consumer," said Vaz.

"Our clients are struggling to adapt...and we have to be their partners to help them navigate this."

Dubbed his ‘reimagine’ agenda, Vaz - who is the first IPA president from a technology background and the first of Indian-American heritage - said he did not wish to change the direction of Golding's own tech-focused agenda launched in 2017, but would offer a "sequel" to build on what has gone before that "could enact step-change."

"Companies are great at their core business, but not great at reimagining the future of their business," he said.

"Agencies are no different from their clients in this regard. Our challenges and future success are interconnected.

“My agenda will be to reimagine; to build new relevance and maintain it. We must reimagine our role, revenue and responsibility. Through these three Rs we will commit to helping our clients transform for the future and, by so doing, we will reimagine relevance for ourselves.”

To enact the "step change" Vaz highlighted a series of pledges, including development of IPA qualifications "fit for the age"; the launch of a new study into the future of brands; an initiative to improve the use of data in the industry; and the launch of the ‘Reimagine Challenge’, to encourage agencies to act like start-ups and explore and develop new business models.

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