Latin America comes together
The WFA Latin American regional meeting in Lima marks a new level of convergence in terms of brand priorities, says WFA CEO Stephan Loerke.
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Ever since we launched our WFA regional chapter back in 2002, the agendas and priorities of our national associations in Latin America – Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Bolivia, Uruguay, Paraguay, Colombia, Venezuela, Guatemala – have been converging year after year.
They’re now (almost) identical at a national, regional and global level.
That’s because the world has changed. Technology and globalization have transformed marketing beyond recognition. As a result, our industry requires a globally and regionally aligned strategic vision and local leadership.
And after two days of intensive work in Lima, where we were kindly hosted by the ANDA Peru team and its executive director Rodolfo Leon, it is increasingly clear that our agenda needs to crystallize around three key planks:
- A determination to take back control of a digital ecosystem that is flawed, opaque and ridden with ad fraud. In its current form, it delivers neither for consumers nor for brand owners. It is up to us to drive the change and we’re determined to do that as we outlined in the WFA Global Media Charter.
- A commitment to engage with governments and stakeholders to champion brand owners' license to operate. Discussions around food marketing, alcohol marketing and data protection have the potential to considerably impact our ability to connect with consumers. It is up to us to understand the changing expectations of society while championing with energy and conviction the value of responsible marketing.
- A recognition that with freedom comes responsibility. Our ability to protect our license to operate will depend on our capacity to put in place cross-industry self-regulation systems that set and enforce high ethical standards.
In the case of our third key plank, the launch of the new Comisión Nacional de Autorregulación de Comunicación Comercial in Colombia is a huge boost to the industry. It is the result of an unprecedented collective effort driven by ANDA Colombia and supported by ANDA Peru, Autocontrol in Spain, WFA and many other partners in the region.
All three are vital for every market in Latin America and they have emerged as clear goals thanks to the way this unique group of heads of national associations now work together. The network has become a team. They share, they collaborate and they inspire each other
If we didn’t have the WFA Latin American chapter, we’d have to invent it now.
I’m writing this note as my plane is taking off from Lima. I feel hugely proud of our Latin American colleagues. The team, under the able leadership of Philip Pérez, the WFA Regional VP, is stronger than ever. I don’t underestimate the challenges ahead but I feel we have what it takes to lead our industry at a time of unprecedented change.
I’m already looking forward to next year’s regional meeting in Buenos Aires (Oct 7-9, 2019) when we’ll also be celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Cámara Argentina de Anunciantes.