August 13, 2013


Busy would not come close to describing how PANA’s calendar looks in 2013.  One of the country’s oldest and most active industry associations, the Philippine Association of National Advertisers (PANA) has marked this year to embark on groundbreaking activities that will not only strengthen its ranks, it will transform the association into a more professional group marked for excellence.

And, that is just on the local front.  PANA is in for the long haul, eager to move forward in creating partnerships with global organizations.

The first to roll out is the PANA Business Partnership Program, creatively designed to address the importance of keeping direct and open communications with key association and industry entities.  The PANA Business Partnership Program is a forum based on working relationships wherein PANA will convene key stakeholders that will act on common interests, and find solutions to these industry issues.

How does it work?  Let us take, for example, the current talks on Cyber Crime and Privacy Laws where the industry associations concerned are PANA, the Internet and Mobile Marketing Association of the Philippines (IMMAP), the Media Specialists Association of the Philippines (MSAP), and even the Association of Accredited Advertising Agencies (4As).  Should the decisions gravely affect the industry, PANA, whose members are actively, even aggressively, present in the new digital media, will deem it necessary to convene the associations to address the matter.

According to Blen Fernando, PANA president, “The PANA Business Partnership Program is built on integrity, trust and teamwork, it is collaborative and participative When PANA convenes, we don’t necessarily become the Chairperson of the project. As convenor, PANA is more of the hub.”

Clear and simple, the model certainly is.  With the advent of game-changing technologies and methodologies, advertising, marketing and integrated communications business models intertwine and collide—which may not be bad.  It is the host of other factors thrown into the issue mix that bars the path to reaching goals and solutions.

This program allows PANA to be very flexible and dynamic. PANA believes that strengthening our relationships with organizations that help us build our brands is very important; however, we also believe that we do not need to have a formal structure all the time to find solutions to common concerns.  This model will involve only organizations or groups who will be directly affected by the issue,” explains Fernando, who is also the VP for Marketing of Alaska Milk Corporation.

“This Business Partnership should be have no ‘trophies’ except finding a common ground on an issue,” she stresses.

Nothing less is expected of PANA which a leave of absence from the Advertising Board of the Philippines (AdBoard), an organization that has stood as the country’s umbrella group of advertising and communications leaders for the past 40 years.  PANA’s acknowledged closest industry ally, the Association of Accredited Advertising Agencies or the 4As, followed suit in February.

Yasmin Mallari, PANA Auditor and Coca-Cola Export Corp. Integrated Mktg. Communications Director, the PANA Business Partnership Program, was tasked to create the program’s framework. The framework has actually three legs—the internal partnerships among PANA members, the external among industry associations and the international which is strengthening relationships with global organizations that impact on PANA. Collaboration from Raul Alvarez, PANA Vice-president and Philippine Long Distance Telephone Retail Marketing Services, Clint Navales, PANA Secretary and Procter & Gamble Distributing Phils. Head, Country Communications Team, and Fernando completed the partnership model.

Will it work?  Fernando thinks so, “This is a creative way.  Though this method is not new, the need for articulating and formalizing or recognizing the approach is (often not done).  This is a forum and venue to discuss industry concerns and opportunities, opening doors to key players and maintaining relationships with everyone else.”

The next, and only step, is for key associations to formalize their desire to join. Meanwhile, PANA is drafting a simple charter or “ways of working” of the partnership with a target to release shortly after its anniversary in early April.

“At the beginning and end of the marketing communications is the advertiser. PANA believes that today when technology and market forces develop so fast , all the more we need to nurture our relationships today, keep them dynamic, not stagnant and not based only personalities,” Fernando points out.


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