ADMA acquired by Australian Computer Society

Industry body the Association for Data-Driven Marketing and Advertising (ADMA) has been acquired by the Australian Computer Society (ACS).

The acquisition also includes former assets of the Australian Alliance of Data Leadership (AADL): the Institute of Analytics Professionals of Australia (IAPA), Digital + Technology Collective (D+TC), and Data Governance Australia (DGA).

From AADL to ACS: ADMA has a new home

The AADL will cease to exist, as ACS becomes the holding company of the various entities.

A release promoting the acquisition said it was a “shot in the arm” for data-driven business.

“The move reinforces the growing importance of data to modern business and ensures those who work with data anywhere in the organisation are supported by industry associations that understand the needs of technology, digital, governance, analytics and marketing,” the release said.

The acquisition comes after a period of upheaval and change for ADMA and its former parent company, the AADL.

The shifts appeared to begin when long-serving CEO Jodie Sangster departed ADMA and its parent organisation AADL in March last year for a role with IBM, with COO Steve Sinha appointed to cover Sangster’s roles until a permanent replacement was found.

Ben Sharp, former managing director of AdRoll, then joined ADMA as its managing director, with the CEO role not directly replaced. He only lasted two weeks though, with Sinha then pushed back up to oversee ADMA and AADL.

In June, former CEO of Aussie Home Loans Stephen Porges became CEO of the overarching body AADL, with Sinha going back to his ADMA role.

Sharp was finally replaced in August last year, with former global chief brand officer of Jurlique, Andrea Martens taking on the ADMA managing director role. Chief member officer, Mandy Eyles, also left the organisation.

Last year, the NSW Supreme Court found Porges engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct in business ventures unrelated to ADMA and the AADL, and he was ordered to pay almost $1m.

In April this year, Porges stepped down, with Martens taking on the expanded role. 

The acquisition of ADMA includes its AC&E (Advertising Creativity and Effectiveness) Awards, which will return this year after a hiatus. The AC&E Awards this year will include D+TC’s AMY Awards.

Martens said ADMA and the other associations – which has over 600 brands as members – would now be able to move forward under ACS.

“In guiding the custodians of the data and technology systems that feed the data value chain, ACS is like a turbo charger for our associations that support the capture, storage, access, analysis, insights and action of data.”

“This turbo-charging reinforces the marketer’s role as the revenue generation machine for business; increases the scale and velocity of analytics, insights and AI-led innovation and boosts focus on cyber security, storage and the ethics of data in business,” she said.

“By joining ACS, we have access to enhanced resources and facilities as well leading-edge thinking and education in the IT sector that will only expand our position in the marketplace and give our members even more reasons to join.

“At ADMA, we continue to be focused on our role as the pre-eminent marketing industry association, renowned for enabling members, irrespective of industry or scale of enterprise, to unlock organisational growth and realise the potential of data-driven marketing.”

Despite the monumental change, including an eventual move to the ACS headquarters at Barangaroo, Martens said it was business as usual for ADMA.

“We have our AC&E Awards and AMY Awards celebrations and IAPA Advancing Analytics Conference coming up in October and our education curriculum, ADMA IQ, continues to build with new courses on offer every week.

“As part of our regulatory support, we are also very focused on ensuring we are capturing industry sentiment and providing an industry perspective in the ongoing ACCC DPI inquiry.”

Yohan Ramasundara, ACS president, said members of all the organisations would benefit from the merge.

“We are very excited to work with the associations to broaden our own skillset and in turn, share our own expertise in ICT. We believe, by joining with these associations, we will be able to deliver some incredible benefits to members of each organisation,” said Ramasundara.

“Together, we will now be able to leverage best practice and insights from each of the associations to drive data-driven industries forward – particularly through a more collaborative CMO – CIO/CDO relationship,” he added.

“Through these associations, we can also strengthen what we offer to our members through globally renowned education and events and specialist expertise in governance, data-driven marketing and analytics.

“We want to build a world-class Australian ICT sector and build capability within businesses and organisations to enhance the effective and innovative adoption of technology – whether that’s in the marketing, analytics, digital or governance area.

“Today, data and technology-driven solutions are paramount to business and customer success – and the best solutions come about when sectors work together to deliver improved customer outcomes.”


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