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.