Ian Priest: launching the Adaptathons at Cannes

Ian-Priest360306The last few years in our industry have kept us on our toes. We have had to learn to expect the unexpected and are being tested all the time in terms of coping with the broader economic pressures that face us as well as the meteoric changes that our business and markets are currently experiencing.

It is vital that, as an industry, we keep moving forward and evolve and adapt to ensure that the value of our commercial creativity remains at the centre of our clients’ businesses – as well as our own.

As I stated when I took up the IPA presidency earlier this year, I want to use my tenure to challenge us as an industry. I want us to evolve with our clients. We need to experiment and push forward, promoting best practice across advertising and at the same time oust bad practices. The only way we can do this is if we measure, share and learn together. Ultimately, my goal is to capture all this in a new blueprint for success: a commercial creative contract between clients and agencies that will benefit everyone.

To this end we have created the Client Council – they are our allies, champions and thought leaders – who will help us work together across a programme of coordinated initiatives, events and experiments to help accelerate the evolution of our industry.

So one of the first things we have done as a team at the IPA is to create a brand and identity for my Presidential programme, working with experiential agency Imagination. You will remember from my inaugural speech that it is called ‘ADAPT’. The acronym is a way of focusing on the five key areas we want to work on; Alliances, Diversification, Agility, Profit and Talent. ‘ADAPT’ is an IPA owned property addressing the needs of the ad industry and the logo will become a ‘kite mark’ for the IPA initiatives associated with it.

In order to maximise the impact of each area as a focal point, we are working with Imagination to create a series of events called ‘Adaptathons’. Clients and agencies will be invited to experiment with new ways of doing things, both on the day and across a 100 day period thereafter. At each of these ‘Adaptathons’ staff to contribute with a common aim; that of experimentation. Each one will follow a format based on evidence that we will present: a provocation or ‘common enemy’ that both clients and agencies want to change or adapt.

We are going to start with Alliances – and the most critical alliance we have is with our clients. Our aim is to promote better, bolder and ideally longer term relationships to produce better work and better commercial returns for both parties. The Alliance ‘Adaptathon’ to take place in the autumn, with the remaining four to follow throughout my presidency, so watch this space for more details on this soon.

Ian Priest is the IPA president.

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