Mediabrand Malaysia's CEO elected as Media Specialists Association president

Bala Pomaleh is the new president of the Media Specialists Associations.

KUALA LUMPUR, June 3 — The Media Specialists Associations (MSA) has announced Bala Pomaleh as its new president at its Annual General Meeting (AGM) today.

Meanwhile, Dheeraj Raina, chief executive officer of Dentsu Malaysia was elected as the new vice-president.

“The last two years have provoked great changes in the media scene, yet we have also seen immense scope for innovation and growth of new Technologies,” Bala was quoted as saying in a statement.

He added that the current challenge in the media industry is to expand talent base and elevate new capabilities and skills in line with the client needs.

“And the challenge can only be solved through close collaboration with my industry peers and those related industry bodies, and I look forward to us building greater cohesiveness,” said Bala.

Today’s AGM also elected Wong Pi Yee as the treasurer and Vanitha Selvathurai as the secretary.

The Malaysian Media Specialist Association (MSA) was established to help and support agencies specialising in providing media research, strategic planning, media negotiation, and placement services.

Its council included members such as Ampersand Advisory, Invictus Blue, and MediaEdge:CIA.

New leadership announced for Media Specialists Association

The Media Specialists Association (MSA) has elected CEO of GroupM Malaysia, Chanchal Chakrabarty as its President and CEO of Initiative and BPN, Darren Yuen as its Vice President at the Association’s recent Annual General Meeting (AGM).

“It’s an honour and also an enormous responsibility to be elected as the President representative of the Media industry of the country, especially so during such unprecedented & difficult times for the industry & economy at large,” Chanchal said. “The pandemic has further underscored the importance of our collective thinking and the heightened role that we can play as an industry.”

As the elected representatives, Chanchal said he and Darren will strive to do their best to further the interests of the marketing communications industry by leading their association to be more diverse and future-ready as the industry emerges into the post-Covid path to recovery.

Other Association office bearers are Vanitha Selvathurai, Secretary/Carat Media Services and Wong Pi Yee, Treasurer/Starcom Mediavest Group. The Council is represented by Bluedale Integrated, Dentsu X Malaysia, m/Six, MediaEdge;CIA, Mindshare Malaysia, Unity Communications Malaysia, Universal McCann and Vizeum Media Services.

Vanitha Selvathurai from Carat Media Services (left) and Wong Pi Yee from Starcom Mediavest Group (right) have been appointed Secretary and Treasurer of Media Specialists Association respectively

MSA was established in 2003 and aims to help and support agencies that specialise in providing media research, strategic planning, media negotiation and placement services.

Progress in single currency for TV audience gauge

Yap: "We expect to incorporate the JIC company within the first quarter of this year."

IN a move towards a credible single currency for TV audience measurement, the Media Specialists Association (MSA) has announced that the Joint Industry Committee (JIC), currently led by the MSA, will be incorporated as a registered company.

All JIC members, including representatives from MSA as well as two of Malaysia’s largest TV media owners, Media Prima TV and Astro, will be naming directors to the board of the incorporated company and will have equal voting power in order to maintain impartiality.

Commenting on the move, MSA president Yap Chee Weng says: “Our plan to achieve a single currency is progressing well. The incorporation will grant the JIC independent authority to govern the measurement methodology, enforce transparency, and ultimately ensure that the single currency is credible for advertisers to rely on.

“Upon incorporation, the immediate task for the JIC company is to appoint an independent auditor to audit the existing measurement systems, namely TV Audience Measurement (TAM) and Dynamic TV Audience Measurement (DTAM). This is a crucial step in establishing that both TAM and DTAM are being conducted accurately and transparently, and one that will address the fundamental concerns of all stakeholders regarding the validity of the current TV measurement data.”

Yap says that the JIC company will evaluate the need for an interim measure, which is a merger of TAM and DTAM, while efforts are being put in place for the longer term option of a single TV researcher for both TAM and DTAM measurement systems.

“In the best interest of all stakeholders, the JIC is currently evaluating the proof of concept and results of the merged TV measurement. Concurrently, we are also reviewing proposal and costing from shortlisted independent auditors.

“Barring any unforeseen circumstances, we expect to incorporate the JIC company within the first quarter of this year. It is imperative that the industry have a single currency to ease reporting and decision-making processes. For that reason, we buckled down and focused on expediting the development towards our single currency end goal,” he adds.

Yap is MSA President

MEDIA Specialists Association (MSA) has announced the apppointment of Yap Chee Weng (pic), CEO of Dentsu Media Malaysia, as its new president.

It also announced the appointment of K. Sivanathan, CEO of Trapper Media Group, as the vice-president at the association’s EGM.

Yap, 49, a 26-year veteran in media management is also chairman of the Audit Bureau of Circulations Malaysia.

He says in a statement:

“The most critical issue that the MSA is dealing with is the split TV audience measurement systems, which we are working very closely with the Malaysia Advertisers Association, as well as Astro, Media Prima Group, and research partners to address this challenge of standardising the Dynamic TV Audience Measurement and TV Audience Measurement.”

MMA 2016: Universal MCCANN reasserts supremacy

UNIVERSAL McCann (UM) reasserted its supremacy in 2016 (interrupted by the gap in 2015 when it withdrew from the competition) at the glitzy 12th Malaysian Media Awards (MMA) held at One World Hotel, Petaling Jaya on June 2, 2016.

It achieved an enviable victory margin accruing 50% higher points compared with second-placed Vizeum – perhaps a fitting tribute to departing CEO Prashant Kumar, who had carefully steered the meteoric rise of UM for more than a decade.

Accolades earned by UM included five Gold, four Silver and two Bronze awards, accumulating 30 points, besides securing unrivalled recognition as “Agency of the Year” and “Advertiser of the Year”, along with the coveted “Grand Prix” award.

McCann also clinched the Gold for “Best Use of Newspapers/ Magazines”, a campaign for Tune Protect that was executed in collaboration with theSun.

Our report on Wednesday, June 1, had analysed the situation currently being encountered by the Media Specialists Association (MSA), forcing media specialists to “work collectively” towards prioritising and pursuing a larger industry agenda: to regroup, consolidate and rejuvenate their relevance, role, efficacy and value-added contribution, in rapidly evolving market conditions.

Reiterating the observations he had made to theSun, MSA president Andreas Vogiatzakis reminded media specialists that they were “currently standing at a crossroads, facing more challenges than ever before”.

These challenges include “intense media fragmentation, cautious client investments, a slowly recovering economy, dynamic digital explosion” and disruptive competition from multiple players.

He also reinforced the importance of MSA (and the MMA) in raising the local media industry standards.

MMA 2016 organising chairman Kagee Chew (UM) proudly reflected on the increase in participation of MSA members this year.

“Sharing the same Olympic spirit of driving excellence, friendship and respect, our target was to activate non-active members through a number of initiatives, among others, exempting the participation fee, as well as providing assistance for copywriting and video production.”

Initiated in 2004, MMA recognises and rewards some of the most outstanding media campaigns across Malaysia. A total of 248 submissions vied for 12 competing categories. Besides accolades and recognition, MMA Gold winners were rewarded with cash prizes totalling RM180,000 via the MSA Talent Learning Programme.



Universal McCann – KFC

Telekom Malaysia Berhad (TM)

Universal McCann

Vizeum Media Services (M) Sdn Bhd – Huawei

Vizeum Media Services (M) Sdn Bhd –Panasonic Corporate

Universal McCann – TM

▶ BEST USE OF DIGITAL (online/ interactive/mobile) – GOLD
Universal McCann – KFC

Initiative Media – Maxis

Universal McCann – TM

Vizeum Media Services (M) Sdn Bhd – Nippon Paint. Total Coatings Expert

Zenith Malaysia – PETRONAS Group

▶ BEST USE OF SMALL BUDGET (under RM100,000) – Excluding Digital – GOLD
Viizeum Media Services (M) Sdn Bhd – Fashion Valet

Universal McCann – Tune Protect

Zenith Malaysia – PETRONAS Group

Universal McCann – KFC



  • 2005 - Clint Easthorpe
  • 2006 - Paul Corrigan
  • 2007 - Andy Miller
  • 2008 -  Margaret Lim
  • 2009 - Prashant Kumar

  • 2010 to 2012 - Andy Miller
  • 2013 - Juliana Chu
  • 2014 - Girish Menon
  • 2015 - Bala Pomaleh
  • 2016 - Kagee Chew

MMA Returns for the 12th Consecutive Year

Let the Search for Outstanding Media Campaigns Begins!

KUALA LUMPUR, 26 February 2016 – Media specialists in Malaysia should brace themselves for an exciting time ahead! The prestigious Malaysian Media Awards (MMA) is back for its 12th year running, giving media talents yet another golden opportunity to showcase their strategic media innovation to the nation.

The industry’s most coveted award, MMA was initiated in 2004 by Media Specialists Association (MSA) to recognise outstanding media campaigns that have yielded excellent results through inspired execution. 12 years on, MMA’s stringent entry and judging criteria remain widely accepted as the gold standard to which all industry players adhere and aspire in the creation of exceptional works.

Kagee Chew, Organising Chairman of MMA 2016 stated that:movie Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

“MMA not only celebrated the best media campaigns; it has also crucially served to attract, retain and inspire the crème de la crème of the industry, thereby effectively raising the standards of advertising and media industry in Malaysia. We are coming to the point where we are now producing world-class work, which has positively impacted the growth of our clients’ businesses.”

In 2013, the MSA Talent Learning Programme was incorporated into MMA’s reward structure in an effort to elevate greatness and recognition within the industry. Cash prizes were awarded to all gold winners under the programme; the funds of which were then channelled towards the financing of personal or professional development programmes of their choice.

Building on that, MSA has introduced yet another initiative to the award this year to continue championing local talents, particularly among its members. Participation in MMA 2016 is now open only to MSA members.

Speaking on the change, Kagee said, “Our renewed focus on activating non-active member participation in 2016 will enable us to further push for friendly competition among MSA members and raise the standard of the industry overall. We sincerely hope to see all members, no matter their size, participate and showcase their work in MMA 2016.”

For first-time entrants, she continued, MSA will be funding professional writers to assist members in crafting and producing their video submissions for two of their best works. Participants requiring the services should contact the MSA Secretariat at 03-7660 8535 before 4 March 2016. The first two entries will be exempted from submission fee.

MMA 2016 features 12 distinct competing categories. They include:

  • Best Use of Television/Cinema Screen
  • Best Use of Sponsorship
  • Best Use of Branded Content on Screen
  • Best Use of Digital (online/interactive/mobile)
  • Best Use of Digital Performance Marketing (formerly Best Use of Performance Marketing)
  • Best Use of Social Media
  • Best Use of Out of Home/ Point of Sale (POS) Media
  • Best Use of Activation/Events
  • Best Use of Small Budget (Under RM100,000) – Excluding Digital
  • Best Use of Newspaper/Magazine (ABC Audited publications)
  • Best Use of Radio/Audio
  • Best Integrated Media Campaign

There will also be 3 special awards to be conferred – The Advertiser of the Year Award for the campaign with the highest cumulative points from all categories, The Grand Prix Award for the individual entry with the highest score and best overall entry, and Agency of the Year Award to the agency with the highest cumulative points from all categories.

MMA 2016 is now open for MSA members to submit their entries both electronically through MMA’s website and in hardcopy, complete with a write-up of not more than 300 words. Online submissions and further entry guidelines can be obtained at

Deadline for all submissions is by 5pm on 18 March 2016 with a fee of RM400. Late submissions are acceptable up to 5pm on 25 March 2016 where a late fee of RM600 will be levied. All entries are subject to 6% GST.

The Malaysian Media Awards 2016 award ceremony is set to take place on 2 June 2016 at One World Hotel, Petaling Jaya. For more information, log on to