MFA cancels its own awards

Rosie Baker
By Rosie Baker | 6 March 2018

The Media Federation of Australia (MFA) has cancelled its 2018 awards as it looks to reset what they stand for in the market. It will undertake a redesign of its award programme for 2019

MFA counts all the major holding groups as members, as well as independents such as Cummins&Partners.

“The purpose of the MFA Awards has always been to celebrate ‘work that works’, and this is a great opportunity for us to re-evaluate the standards by which we judge success, not just in terms of awards but as a wider industry,” said Joe Lunn, chair of the MFA Awards Committee.

MFA Awards sponsors and MFA members have supported the move.

John Broome, CEO of the AANA supports the move. “Recalibrating the MFA Awards program to better reflect what’s important for clients and what delivers value will help move the industry forward. The AANA is proud to be a long-time supporter of the MFA and its Awards program, and we look forward to celebrating when the awards relaunch in 2019,” he said.

The decision to cancel the awards is part of what the MFA is calling a new strategy focused on effectiveness and client advocacy. It says it will have an emphasis around measurement and accountability as well as talent.

The news of a new focus for the MFA will be music to the ears of those in the market that have long questioned the MFA's role and what it stands for. 

It has been described as a “toothless tiger” on more than one occasion and while its NGEN and MFA 5+ schemes are seen as highly valuable training and development programmes for young people in the industry, the MFA has failed to offer a strong voice in the market in recent years. 

It remained largely silent in 2015 when MediaCom was found to have misused value banks, and again recently when questions were raised around MFA member Atomic 212 CEO Jason Dooris' conduct. 

In 2015 it published a one-page framework document  in response to growing transparency issues – which many at the time deemed not good enough.

It says it will roll out a number of initiatives to drive its new agenda over the next 12-18 months.

Sophie Madden, CEO of the MFA, says: “It’s an important moment for the MFA and for the wider industry.

“We’re working in a rapidly changing media environment with more choices than ever before in terms of how to reach target audiences, and – as an industry – we need to be able to clearly demonstrate the value media agencies deliver in making those choices for clients.”

*Update. AdNews understands that many MFA board members are also holding back on entering domestic awards for 12 months, with Horgan confirmimng this via his LinkedIn profile.

Have something to say on this? Share your views in the comments section below. Or if you have a news story or tip-off, drop me a line at rosiebaker@yaffa.com.au

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