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New IPA Scottish Chairman Ken Dixon delivers inaugural speech

Ken Dixon, Planning Partner, Newhaven Communications, delivered his inaugural address as Chairman of the Scottish Institute of Practitioners in Advertising to a packed industry audience at a Reception held last night (11th May 2009).

12/05/2009

Ken Dixon, Planning Partner, Newhaven Communications, delivered his inaugural address as Chairman of the Scottish Institute of Practitioners in Advertising to a packed industry audience at a Reception held last night (11th May 2009).

In his 15-minute speech, Ken outlined how he thinks the IPA can help Scottish agencies to re-energise their collective reputation and their bottom line through his four-fold agenda:

• Be more outward looking and a bit more self-critical

According to Dixon, one of the biggest factors holding Scotland back from winning more UK-wide accounts, is not a lack of talent or ideas, but a reluctance to strive for better.

“In this free-market hour of need, the twin notions that “Good enough is not enough” and “Great ideas can come from anywhere” appear incredibly relevant… We should all be delivering a bit more ambition, energy, rigour and creativity.”

• Stop complaining about work heading south

Despite their smaller size, if Scottish agencies have big enough ideas and ambition, Dixon believes that they should not lose business to the south.

“…what if we all focused more of our attention on the market that isn’t here, beyond the border, even beyond the UK, because that’s where the majority of the opportunities lie… I think it’s time we exploited our relative lack of scale, our flexibility and capability and turned our underdog status to our collective advantage.”

• Open up the doors to a wider group of creative minds

Echoing IPA President Rory Sutherland, Dixon believes that the current silosisation of the industry could lead to its demise and that it must work collectively, and with different sector organisations, to stimulate new ideas.

“I really believe that we all need to get out of our self-imposed ‘creative agency silos’ and start tapping into more of the creativity and business acumen that surrounds us; whether that’s in the business schools, the art colleges, the science labs or the dynamic start-ups that are filling the void left by the demise of redun-dant heavy industries… As an industry body, our challenge going forward is to help make brands or organisations more relevant, robust, and sustainable, (in every sense of the word).”

• Increase energy levels

Preserving the status quo is not an option. According to Dixon, the industry must move forward or risk sliding backwards.

“I do know that that if we work collectively to push the boundaries then we’ll all have a better chance of winning new business and protecting what we already have.”

View his full speech.

Ken Dixon succeeds Guy Robertson, Managing Partner, GRP as Chairman of the Scottish IPA and will be expected to serve a two-year term.

Last updated 12/05/2009


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