Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Meritocarcy is a dirty word

There is a culture in this part of the world that views competition as evil, rather than boosting standards and quality. Words like "meritocracy" are debated in parliament, and ultimately swept under the carpet just in time for lunch.

An example here in Malaysia was when the powers that be realised that Malaysian Universities rated badly in comparison to those in other countries around the world, they simply created their own list, rating only those in Malaysia; predictably, Malaysian universities now appear in the top 10.

And so it comes as little surprise to those who have been watching that Indonesia has now officially banned all adverts not actually created in that country (with the exception of tourism ads for the promotion of foreign countries, properties located outside Indonesia, some international games, competition and education, and some large brands where the same actors are used throughout the world).

For the uninitiated, TV commercials are always awarded on the basis of a pitch. Our company, for example, might ask 2 local and one international production house to give a treatment on a piece of work. And indeed, we also find ourselves in the position sometimes of pitching against the international branding houses.

Till now, I believe the case was that one foreign "expert" was always to be accompanied by three locals.

It's a pity. Actually, it's just silly. For the local Indonesian market it spells a dreadful step backwards.

I predict that because of this move standards will go down rapidly. The work will be worth less. Even if it is not, clients will begin to chop budgets. Lower budgets equals less work. Less work equals fewer people working. And eventually, no industry.

Ah well. If they can't see it. Good luck to them.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Monday, June 02, 2008

The madness

This should give you an idea of ho busy it is in Hanoi. Madness.

37 centigrade

Here's one of my favourite shots from the trip. I was sitting at a little hole in the wall drinking local beer. The little old lady didn't know I was snapping her.