On Thursday evening, SWA members and some guests met physically again at the "Chicago 1928" after a long time. The association combined its 72nd general meeting with an exclusive leader event. Thus, the "who's who" of Swiss advertising clients gathered in the former warehouse in Zurich-Oerlikon.
SWA President Roger Harlacher spoke at the AGM about the challenges facing the association and was able to report a pleasing annual profit in 2020 as well as good prospects for the future.
New services and new members
Despite the difficult times, the SWA has been able to expand its services in recent years and also increase its membership. Eight new members joined the SWA in 2020 and seven new members in 2021. In total, the SWA now has over 200 members from all sectors, who are responsible for around 75 percent of Swiss media spending.
The SWA is the only association in Switzerland that exclusively represents the interests of advertising clients vis-à-vis all stakeholders. This clear profile, combined with numerous added values, continues to be well received by advertising companies.
Changes in the Board of Directors
In 2021 there were some changes in the board. In the process, the assembly elected four new members to the board: Heike Kammerer from Nestlé, Nadine Hess from Migros, Christoph Timm from Swisscom and André Hefti from Switzerland Tourism. After six years on the Board, Olivier Quillet from Nestlé and Bernhard Christen from SRF were bidden farewell.
Both have changed their positions. Furthermore, after 3 years in office, Rebekka Iten of Bayer, Jan De Schepper of Swissquote and Roger Harlacher of Zweifel Chips were re-elected for a further period.
Other members of the Board continue to be Frank Burkhardt of L'Oréal, Karin Held of Land Rover/Jaguar, Thomas Schwetje of Coop and Roman Reichelt of Credit Suisse.
Prominent CMO panel
The AGM was followed by a CMO talk with Zanet Zabarac from Dosenbach, the Advertiser of the Year Martin Walthert from Digitec/Galaxus, Roman Reichelt and André Hefti. The deputy editor-in-chief of m&k Johannes Hapig eloquently got to the heart of the CMOs.
Next meeting in March 2022
The focus of the evening was on the "here and now" and for once there were no recordings or virtual broadcasts. Looking ahead to 2022, SWA Director Roland Ehrler hopes that the advertising market will continue to recover and that more scheduled, physical events will be possible again in the new year. At the same time, he announced the next, major SWA annual meeting on March 16, 2022. At this event, the topic "Man or machine: artificial intelligence in marketing and communication" from 2020 will be made up for. The next General Meeting will then take place at the same time.
The social part of the evening included everything that was forbidden in 1928: alcohol, gambling and joie de vivre. The extensive networking lasted late into the night.