I admit I enjoyed the 4A’s Account Planning Conference. Of course, not being a planner and having never attended an advertising-type conference, I have no frame of reference. Plus I flew on a frequent flyer ticket and went to Monterey afterward on vacation, so perhaps I was in the right frame of mind.
Piers Fawkes, however, wasn’t so kind:
‘Scuse the French, but the whole show was effing appalling. How shall we start?
PAYOLA – Some readers may know our view about the pay-to-speak scam at conferences. The AAAA APC was full of it: thinly disguised paid-for sales pitches by sponsors like Google, Time Warner, Yahoo! sponsors. The AAAA forced 800 of us to listen to information media planners would have been bored sick about. The AAAA stole our time and charged us for it. Shameful behavior – especially when there’s such a call for transparency in the industry.
Piers goes on to pick apart other things at the conference, including the location and the cost. (And the lack of wi-fi in the conference area, which I admit I was pissed about, too.) He’s got some very good criticisms.
He’ll have a chance to put his money where his mouth is at the PSFK Conference Los Angeles, coming up in September.