ADMA has acquired the assets of digital agency association AIMIA, in a move that further strengthens its coverage and membership and creates the opportunity for Australia to develop a genuine digital industry association at long last. AIMIA has struggled in recent years with cash flow problems — and an unresolved debate among board members about its true purpose.
The board split between those who wanted a wider remit to help drive the digital agenda around Australia and those who wanted to maintain the comfortable agency clubbiness of an organisation that always struggled to break out beyond NSW, or extend its purpose much beyond awards nights.
The surprising thing about the announcement is that it took so long. The organisation struggled to settle after the departure of longtime chief John Butterworth, and at one point a year ago there were rumours circulating about a merger with the IAB.
According to a statement by ADMA, which last year merged and effectively took over IAPA, AIMIA was voluntarily wound up by its members in January 2016.
According to Steve Brennen, Chair of ADMA, “As industry association consolidation becomes inevitable in today’s rapidly evolving market, a larger organisation like ADMA is well placed to operate its activities more efficiently and provide additional value to members.”
ADMA says it will service AIMIA members under the AIMIA brand, while strengthening the value to members with the additional resources and stature it offers as Australia’s largest and fastest-growing marketing and advertising industry body.
Jodie Sangster, CEO of ADMA, said “ADMA and AIMIA already have a significant cross-over in membership and a strong digital education offer which means we will be able to provide value-add membership services to AIMIA members from day one.”
Australia lacks a cohesive digital voice from an industry perspective, and AMDA — with its strength in both digital marketing and analytics, and now its access to AIMIA digital agency membership — is well placed to fill that role.