The Hong Kong 4As was established in 1957, at a time when the local advertising industry was in its infancy, and in need of a local professional body to be established to set and maintain business ethics, enforce an advertising standards code, and act as an arbiter between the agencies. Today, we have around 23 members, most of whom are major advertising and media agencies sharing common objectives. • To maintain and protect best practices in our industry • To promote and inspire creative excellence • To create fair and level playing field for all The Hong Kong 4As is run by an Executive Committee, supported by Sub-Committees. Committee members, elected from the senior management of member agencies, deal with issues concerning the future of the advertising industry and the business of member agencies. As the industry continues to evolve and become even more complex, our role is more important than ever. We act as a forum for local advertising and media agencies to discuss ideas and exchange views, organise training programmes and other member activities, and, always looking ahead, pave the way forward for tomorrow’s generation. Last but not least are our award competitions, recognising and honouring great work. Designed to continually raise the bar, and promote creative excellence. Our industry is very different today than in 1957. Our principles and our objectives, remain the same.
We have a responsibility to the Hong Kong advertising industry, and to the general public, to establish and maintain a high standard of advertising behaviour and ensure that all advertisements are legal, clean, honest and truthful. There are three aspects to this:
To promote the highest standards of business ethics among our members in their dealings with the public, their clients and among themselves. To encourage the association of advertising agencies and their commitment to ensuring the specialised knowledge and experience essential to provide efficient service, and professional and financial standards to their clients. To afford means of arbitration on or for the settlement of disputes or questions between advertising agencies or between such agencies and third parties.
To create and maintain a forum for the better exchange of views and communication between advertising agencies and others engaged in the advertising industry. To use the forum to advise and provide information and assistance to Members on the better management and planning of their businesses. To ascertain and to watch over legislation affecting advertising agencies. To represent the views of Members of the Association and of advertising agencies and on their behalf to enter into discussions and negotiations and to conclude agreements. To facilitate conferences, meetings and exhibitions for the discussion of professional affairs, interests and duties in the advertising industry.
To represent and promote to all sections of the public, commerce and government the role of advertising as an essential social and economic requirement in a free enterprise society. To promote a better understanding of advertising and its role in society and to present on behalf of the industry explanation or answer to criticism of the industry to government bodies, consumer associations − other such bodies.
Welcome to the Hong Kong 4As.
I would like to begin by thanking you for all your support and guidance over the past three years. From social unrest to COVID, our world and the advertising industry have faced great challenges and changes. But in all the turmoil, one thing remains constant: our passion and dedication. COVID has not stopped us in the advertising industry from moving forward. Our people have been inspired to infuse their work with creativity, innovation and positive energy, just when society needed them most. We have every reason to be proud of these achievements, but we can’t just rest on our laurels. To sharpen our competitive edge, we must now transform our industry at speed to stay ahead. We are competing not only within the ad industry, but also with others entering the market. We must ask ourselves if our edge still relies upon our advantages of scale in one-stop-shop and end-to-end solutions. I think the answer depends on our response. As a first key step, we launched “Hong Kong Roots” at the Kam Fan Awards to welcome more locally relevant creative projects. By collaborating with other agencies, we’re increasing our competitiveness and celebrating our shared creativity. With the postponement of the Kam Fan Awards and Effie Awards in 2020 due to COVID, last year’s achievements delivered encouraging results in terms of entries and the surplus generated from running both awards. We will continue to send award-winning work to the international awards shows, thereby raising awareness of our outstanding successes in the HK ad industry. At the same time, we are determined to increase international exposure and recognition by sending the winning teams, including those from Young Kam Fan, as ambassadors to international award shows such as the recent Cannes Lions and the upcoming MADSTARS. Advertising is a people industry. Recruitment and retention are both key topics in the immediate short term. We face challenges in attracting the best new talent and need to address increased staff turnover by enhancing job satisfaction. The rising popularity of other industries, such as client’s marketing teams, start-ups and other digital and entertainment categories, are also factors to take into consideration. To retain the best talents, we need to roll out programmes to educate staff and change their perceptions, leading ultimately to the cultivation of a sustainable culture where staff feel committed, valued, rewarded and involved. After forming the Young Committee early this year, led by a team of vibrant young agency people, we are going to launch a market-wide recruitment and image-building campaign in Q3 of 2022. The key is to empower young talent by fostering a “start-up” spirit to create a strong sense of ownership and community value. We have been partnering with universities, such as CUHK and HKBU, to engage and attract students at an early stage. I believe that now is the time to focus on raising standards and making excellence the hallmark of our industry. Following the last Media Agency Communication Meeting held in June, our media members agreed to launch our pledges and programs for both recruitment and retention of young talent. Regular meetings in future will enhance alignment and maintain our strong heritage by embracing a more positive industry culture and committing ourselves to the very highest standards. Changes abound in terms of the composition of the HK4As leading team. Stanley Ngai resigned from the ExComm membership in April 2022. I would like to thank Stanley for being a true stalwart in our team. In the year ahead, we will continue to devise a number of key strategic moves to support the members of our industry, and continue to explore and build partnerships with Google, Meta, Viu TV and YouTube, and through local collaborations with MarketingPulse, M+, HKAC and others. It is an exciting prospect for us to make a real difference as we cast our votes to form the new ExComm for the next two years. With the new members joining us today, I hope that we will continue to thrive together and grow stronger than ever.
Group Managing Director
Saatchi & Saatchi Hong Kong
Zenith Hong Kong
Chief Executive Officer
Wunderman Thompson Hong Kong
OMD Hong Kong
Chief Executive Officer
M&C Saatchi Spencer Hong Kong
Appointed by the Executive Committee, the Executive Director, in charge of the HK4As Secretariat, is responsible to conduct the business in accordance with the constitution and Members‘ interest.