Digital industry association AIMIA seeks to be wound up after going into administration

aimia logoOne of the major industry associations AIMIA is set to be wound up after failing to raise enough money from members to make it viable.

AIMIA, which represents agencies in the digital industry and was founded in 1992, is understood to have issued its four staff with redundancy notices this morning, and is set to ask members to close it down at a special meeting on December 21.

However, it is still set to go ahead with the AIMIA Awards on March 31 next year, with judging already underway. 

It is understood the board had sought a potential merger of the group with both the Internet Industry Association and the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), although neither appears to have been fruitful.

AIMIA was started in 1992 in the early days of the internet as an association to provide training and guidance to agencies in the emerging space.

However in recent years it has struggled to remain relevant as digital becomes more pervasive, with the association admitting in its press release “the current agency-centric scope of AIMIA is no longer commercially sustainable over the long term”.

It is the latest industry association to be hit with financial troubles. Publishers Australia, which represents large and small publishers, went into administration last September whilst at the start of the year the Australian Marketing Institute sent out a plea for members to pay an extra $99 on top of their memberships to avoid administration.

More to come.

The announcement:

Following twenty-three years of industry leadership, AIMIA is signing off and has closed its offices, voluntarily calling in Ferrier Hodgson to prepare the organisation for a members vote at a special meeting on 21 December to decide its future.

When it was founded in 1992, AIMIA heralded a new opportunity for Australian innovators in the digital content, services and application sectors to band together and as one united voice, help the industry grow through education, lobbying and support.

Commenting, Tim O’Neill, AIMIA’s president said: “Since that time, the impact of AIMIA has been widespread. From the creation of our education programmes, the AIMIA Awards, IAB Australia, and the annual Salary Survey, we have a longstanding history of supporting the growth of the digital industry. Many of our Members and Hall of Famers have found major commercial success locally and globally, and policy makers have adopted numerous recommendations championed for by AIMIA.”

The world of digital has now become so incredibly omnipresent across all industries that the current agency-centric scope of AIMIA is no longer commercially sustainable over the long term.

AIMIA’s membership has consolidated significantly in recent years and prospective members have access to a large volume of alternative sources of knowledge and networking.

As a not for profit, member funded organization, AIMIA’s National Committee explored the opportunity to significantly expand the scope and relevance of AIMIA in line with the digital industry today. Specifically, over the past six months AIMIA has had advanced discussions to merge with a strategically complementary industry organisation.

The merger was supported by Government and would have created a joint body with significantly wider industry appeal and resources. While those discussions were positive, they have recently concluded unsuccessfully. Given AIMIA’s thin capitalization base and the recent conclusion of merger talks, the National Committee appointed Ferrier Hodgson to review AIMIA’s operations and prepare the organisation ahead of the Members Vote to decide its future.

AIMIA’s four staff are expected to be paid their entitlements in full.

AIMIA Awards

The National Committee is committed to ensuring the annual AIMIA Awards programme will be completed as planned. The Awards have recently closed for entries and are currently being judged. Further details will be shared after the Members Vote.

“As a not for profit organisation, we’re immensely proud of the outcomes AIMIA has achieved over many years and the success and size of our industry in part reflects that impact.”

“We thank our many volunteers, members and patrons for their ongoing support, and for their recognition of the results AIMIA’s operations team and National and State committees have achieved over the past twenty-three years,” O’Neill said.


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