BCDMA postpones vote

The British Columbia Direct Marketing Association (BCDMA) has pushed back the vote among its board of directors, to determine whether or not it would remain a CMA chapter. The vote, originally scheduled for earlier this month, will now likely take place May 6, says Murray Pratt, president of the BCDMA.

The British Columbia Direct Marketing Association (BCDMA) has pushed back the vote among its board of directors, to determine whether or not it would remain a CMA chapter. The vote, originally scheduled for earlier this month, will now likely take place May 6, says Murray Pratt, president of the BCDMA.

CMA chapters across the country, of which there are eight, have until Jan. 1, 2004, to be completely in line with the CMA’s recommendations, which include dropping the ‘direct’ and embracing the CMA’s broader vision in mandate and programming.

‘Most of the members feel strongly one way or another,’ says Pratt, who has removed himself from the process – to be able to take a position on the issue – by bringing in a facilitator. ‘From one perspective, we can say ‘Let’s hold on to our niche – we’ve got something unique here.’ The other perspective is to say ‘We’re a strong, healthy organization and we have choices” says Pratt, adding those choices could include going it alone, joining another local and/or national association, or remaining part of the CMA.

‘It’s a healthy time to consider this because we have the money and wherewithal to sort of relaunch ourselves in whatever direction we want.’

In a recent informal poll of direct advertising agency representatives across the country, Strategy asked whether individual CMA chapters should maintain their direct focus (vs. absorbing the parent organization’s broader mandate and vision). A majority of respondents (65%) indicated the chapters should hold on to their direct focus.

Ottawa, Edmonton and Calgary have complied with the CMA’s recommendations (by dropping the word ‘direct’). Manitoba, Atlantic Canada, Quebec, B.C. and Toronto have not yet adopted a name-change.