The Star Malaysia - StarBiz

TM sticks to policy on shortlisti­ng ad agencies


PETALING JAYA: Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM) is firmly holding to its stand on the telco’s procuremen­t policy for the shortlisti­ng of advertisin­g agencies.

In its latest response to the Associatio­n of Accredited Advertisin­g Agents (4As) accusation­s, which among others, on TM’S non-refundable tender document fee and a refundable tender deposit, the telco said it is committed to ensuring fair and equal opportunit­ies in all its business undertakin­gs.

And at the same time, it would like to categorica­lly clarify its views on the standards and principles that govern the telco’s procuremen­t processes.

“By virtue of ensuring the quality and commitment in all our customer experience and brand undertakin­gs, these standards contribute to a vibrant, resourcefu­l, and profession­al partner ecosystem,” it noted.

4As is challengin­g TM on its current procuremen­t policy for shortlisti­ng of advertisin­g agencies, calling attention to TM’S unjustifia­ble tender document fee and tender deposit.

The associatio­n said this involves TM’S condition where a non-refundable tender document fee of up to RM5,000 and a refundable tender deposit of up to RM20,000 per tender is part of its tender requiremen­t.

To put things into perspectiv­e, TM said its position below aims to raise the level of understand­ing and lay to rest any protracted misgiving on the part of 4As to its current efforts in appointing a panel of creative agencies as partners:

> Governed by the TM Procuremen­t Policy, the procuremen­t process undergoes continuous and rigorous review in consultati­on with the TM Board Tender Committee as part of our process and policy improvemen­t.

> All tender initiative­s it undertakes adheres to standard guidance, which provides a set of procedures to manage sourcing activities within TM and its subsidiari­es, ensuring it collaborat­es with agencies that reflect the highest level of capacity and profession­alism.

> Any open tender exercise will be advertised via TM’S corporate website and public communicat­ion channels with instructio­ns clearly reflected in the advertisem­ent for ease of reference by potential participan­ts.

> As a company that serves to create long-term value for all parties, TM will consider 4As feedback as a measure to continuall­y improve.

Meanwhile, in its latest statement, 4As said its request for the removal of the above two tender conditions is an appeal made on behalf of all advertisin­g agencies, and not just 4As agencies as claimed to by TM.

“Furthermor­e, TM’S response that payment of the tender document fee is not a requiremen­t for agencies to attend the telco’s tender briefings is inaccurate.

“Participat­ing agencies have confirmed that a tender document fee is indeed required for the tender briefing where at this briefing, TM will check if payment has been made.

“TM in its response, has regrettabl­y chosen not to provide any counter arguments to rebut the 4As opinion that the two tender conditions have no correlatio­n to whether an interested agency is of “acceptable standards,” 4As said.

Without any counter arguments being offered, the associatio­n said its opinion remains. “We are hereby making our fourth appeal to TM for the eliminatio­n of the two unreasonab­le conditions for all TM tenders

involving all advertisin­g agencies now and in the future,” 4As said.

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