DAVAO CITY, Philippines – “Good Riddance.”
This was what Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said in a text message to reporters who, on Wednesday, had sought his comment on the decision of the Advertising Board of the Philippines to postpone – or even totally scrap – the three-day Advertising Congress here, which the city was to host for the first time.
The Ad Congress was to be held in November but in an advisory, Adboard said it was postponing it due to an “internal crisis.”
The postponement of what was deemed as one of the most important events to be held in the city – mainly due to the economic benefit it was projected to bring – was made public just this week in a statement issued by AdBoard chair Bienvenido Niles Jr.
But Niles said the city government, through then Mayor Sara Duterte, had been properly informed as early as June 21.
“We tried our best to organize the ad congress, but without the support of all member-associations, we feel we cannot mount a successful ad congress,” he said.
Niles said the main reason was the leave of absence filed by at least three of the 10 associations-members of Adboard in 2012 and early this year.
Niles said the Philippine Association of National Advertisers (PANA) begged off from participating in the 2013 Ad Congress due to its desire to “focus on advertisers” and “some of its own important issues like tobacco and milk.”
The Association of Accredited Advertising Agencies Philippines (4AsP) and the Advertising Suppliers Association of the Philippines (ASAP) on the other hand only followed Pana’s decision, Niles said.
But he hinted that the leave of absence filed by the three Adboard members were the result of an unspecified internal crisis.
In 2007, the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkasters ng Pilipinas (KBP) also bolted out of the AdBoard over the issue on the number of commercials, which should be allowed for giant TV networks ABS-CBN and GMA-7 on any given time slot.
In the light of Ad Congress 2013’s postponement, Niles said the AdBoard would like to address the internal crisis before deciding on what further steps to take.
“AdBoard will focus on getting the entire membership to work together again towards restoring its mandate,” he said.
Government officials involved in convincing Adboard to make the city the host of the 2013 Ad Congress could not be reached for comment on the possible effects of the cancelation – or imminent postponement of the event.
At least 5,000 delegates – who would be checking in on the city’s hotels, spend money on personal things and other expenses, were expected to attend the Ad Congress, which Baguio City, Boracay, Subic, and Camarines Sur had bid for but failed to edge out Davao City.
So far, only Duterte made a comment but he did not elaborate on why he thought the cancelation – a decision Adboard made for the first time since it was founded about 40 years ago – was a blessing in disguise.