25 April 2000

Plans by the Malaysian Association of Advertising Film Makers (PPFIM) to introduce a standard industry-wide production contract for TV commercials have hit a stumbling block. The National Film Development Corporation (Finas), responding to a letter from the Association of Accredited Advertising Agents (4A), insists that it is the sole authority for approving and issuing made-in-Malaysia (MiM) certificates.
The decision is embarrassing to PPFIM, having recently told its members that they would not be eligible for the MiM certificate if they were suspended from or expelled by PPFIM for not using the proposed standard contract. Meantime, 4A, which is opposing the use of a standard contract, has received a reply from Finas which contradicted PPFIM's claim, its president Tony Lee claims.
According to Lee, Finas insists that the MiM guideline does not require applicants to be a member of any particular association or to sign any particular contract: “While Finas has referred each MiM application to PPFIM since Jan 1, 1997, this referral is meant only to obtain verification of the content of each MiM application, such as the names of the Malaysian or foreign film-makers involved in the TV commercial production”, he said.
4A believes that imposing a standard contract for the whole industry would retard fair competition and that contract terms should be on a willing buyer/willing seller basis. Lee said the 4As looked forward to having further dialogue with the PPFIM and the Malaysian Advertisers Association.
On the separate issue of ACNielsen's alleged overestimation of the country's advertising expenditure, Lee said the meeting between 4As and ACNielsen had been postponed due to some representatives celebrating Good Friday. “We hope to have a meeting next week”, he added.

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