AMI hopeful of avoiding insolvency as a third of its memberships pays $99 bailout fee

Darren WoolleyAround 1,000 members of the Australian Marketing Institute have paid a $99 fee imposed by the industry body in February as it looks to cover six-figure debts to avoid insolvency.

Chairman of the Australian Marketing Institute (AMI) Darren Woolley told Mumbrella a third of the 3,000 strong membership had already paid the “service enhancement charge” with only an “infinitesimally small” number of members saying they will not renew membership next year.

The AMI asked its members for the money to service a debt understood to run into hundreds of thousands of dollars as it bids to stay afloat and overhaul its services.

“The AMI is looking very strong,” said Woolley. “It is certainly looking stronger than it has looked in the last three years.  The reality is that the AMI service levy has received and continues to receive a high level of support from members.”

Woolley told Mumbrella that two months after its introduction more than 30 per cent had already paid the surcharge, with the vast majority committing to paying the charge within the financial year.

AMI logo 2015He added: “While there were some concerns by members the rejection of it is almost infinitesimally small.”

When the AMI announced the surcharge it said it was committed to improving the financial performance of the association and members would see the benefits in improved services.

“We are developing and releasing new programs, we have set up new alliances with media partners and other associations which we will be announcing in the next few months,” said Woolley.

“It will allow us to deliver a broader offering in our professional development program.”

The AMI chair also said the Marketing Excellence Awards had seen strong number of entries and that the AMI Marketing Summit had been confirmed for Queensland later in 2015.

“We have been able to do a lot of things that we have been planning to do but didn’t have the resources to do,” he said, referring to the impact of the fee.

Woolley also acknowledged that there had been some cost cutting to some services and events.

“Before we even introduced the levy we went through all the costs and reduced everything to the minimum.

“(The cost cutting) had implications for some of the smaller events but we were hesitant to cut any further and that’s why we went with the levy because if we started cutting too deeply we start eliminating the purpose of being a member organisation.”

Nic Christensen 


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