Communications Council drops its Circus conference

The Communications Council has decided not to hold its Circus conference in 2014, Mumbrella can reveal.


The three day “festival of commercial creativity” launched in 2011 and included keynote presentations, The Battle of The Big Thinking featuring a series of presentations from thinkers from within the industry and beyond, and the creative AWARD (Australian Writers and  Directors  Association) awards.

Last year, AWARD chairman Craig Davis, then the chief creative officer of Publicis Mojo, complained that the industry had failed to support the event in sufficient numbers.

The AWARD ceremony will still take place in the same week as the Global Marketer Conference, organised by the Australian Association of National Advertisers. Yesterday BBH cofounder John Hegarty, in Australia for the Global marketer Conference, was announced as chairman of the AWARD judging.

The Comms Council represents Australia’s creative and direct agencies, while the AANA is made up of Australia’s top spending brands.

The Communications Council said it instead intended to throw its support behind the AANA’s event. CEO Margaret Zabel said in a statement to Mumbrella:“When it was announced that the WFA Global forum was going to be held in Sydney in March 2014 – the same week as our annual Circus festival – we approached the AANA with a proposal to collaborate and support it. It aligns with the same values as Circus, bringing world-class speakers to Australia’s stage, and welcoming all strands of the marketing communications mix together in a collaborative forum.”

9.30pm update:  The Communications Council added the following statement:

With cross-industry collaboration high on the agenda for 2014, The Communications Council is pleased to announce its support of the AANA & WFA Global Marketer Conference which is set to be held in Sydney 26 March 2014.

The Global Conference, will welcome leaders from around the world in a collaborative forum. A unique experience for many of today’s local advertisers, The Communications Council has decided to channel its resources into supporting the opportunity in place of running its annual Circus Festival of Commercial Creativity, which has traditionally been held in the same month for the past three years.

Margaret Zabel, CEO of The Communications Council, said: “We are very excited for the WFA Marketer Conference to be hosted in Australia and to offer our support to this global event. For the last three years, March has been the designated month for our annual Circus festival, where it has been our goal to bring marketing communications professionals together to be inspired by world-class international speakers and developments. The global forum will also deliver this and presents a wonderful, one-off learning experience for Australian advertisers. ”

Though the Circus festival will not run in its traditional form in respect to its day of keynote speakers, elements of the festival will still run this year, including master classes and the annual Battle of Big Thinking. Likewise, the AWARD Awards will take place in the same festival week.

Sunita Gloster, CEO of The Australian Association of National Advertisers, said: “We very much welcome The Communications Council’s support for the Global Marketer Conference and will be combining our efforts for our respective members’ benefit. Bringing Sir John Hegarty to Australia is an example of that. I think this event marks the beginning of a deeper collaboration between the two bodies,”



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