Shut up about advertising! Here lies MIM.

Paul J Loosley

Paul J( – by Paul J Loosley

It’s bleedin’ demised, a stiffy, it’s no-more, it’s pushing up the daisies, it’s expired and gone to meet its maker, passed on, bereft of life, it has joined the choir invisible.

You see, the ‘Made in Malaysia’ (MIM) rule no-longer prevents the free-flow of foreign commercials as it did originally as it only applies to locally produced commercials. Its only use seems to be as leverage to enforce the signing of the production contract. And that itself is barely valid if the contracted second fifty percent payment is still at the discretion of either advertiser or agency.

And even if the old, original MIM miraculously sprung to life, Lazarus-style, what would the multinational advertisers do; make their big budget advertising films in our little market of around 30 million, or in Indonesia; a market of over 250 million, who now enforce their own MIM-type restrictions?

Sorry, but MIM is now reduced to just another piece of red tape folks.

So just put it out of its misery and cut out all the adversarial bollocks. Restrictions and leveraged threats are just not productive.

MIM is not simply tired and shagged out after a long squawk, it is an ex-issue.

So what now?

How about replacing all the effort put into negativism, protectionism, restrictions, retrogression, pushing and shoving with positivism, optimism, education, encouragement and inspiration.

Surely a markedly better alternative is for everyone; the whole industry, to jump into bed together and conceive some new, forward-looking ideas. Develop a coordinated way to rear a better talent pool, find better ways of teaching superior filmmaking skills, develop ways and means of writing and producing better programming, seek better production values, search for even more professional working methods, look for better win-win payment methods, promote better creative standards.

Just ask yourselves:

Can the industry stop bothering the likes of FINAS with requests to expend time, money and effort on leverage and protectionism? Can they be asked to help to set up or sponsor better ad industry facilities; to breed better standards?

Can CMCF and MCMC be encouraged to find ways and means to grow the quality of the industry’s output rather than searching for new rules, more red tape or bigger and better things to prohibit?
Can the institutes of higher learning offer more vocational courses with the ad industry in mind? If they can, how can the industry help make them even better?

Can the film production organizations set measurable, recognised levels of technical ability and standards of competence?

Can the AAAAs revisit their demised, yet very positive, communication school?

Can the idea of a regional advertising ‘Hub’ have real life breathed into it by offering to share these higher standards to emerging markets in ASEAN?

And finally and most importantly, can someone take the lead in delivering these joint industry efforts, making Malaysia a preferred choice for advertising and production; where quality, not restriction, is paramount? Where progress is bred around these and other merit-based, professional, production and creative solutions?

You get the general drift?

So stop trying to give CPR to MIM; just let it go peacefully into the great beyond, and then convert the energy spent trying to breathe life into the old bird with energy spent on things a bit more fruitful.

Paul Loosley is an English person who has been in Asia 38 years, 12 as a Creative Director, 20 making TV commercials. And in recent years, a brand consultant. And still, for some strange reason, he can’t shut-up about advertising. Any feedback; mail [email protected]

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