MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT

On the road to an industry-wide generic advertising effort

March 4, 2009: Last week I attended a meeting in London to discuss how our industry may develop, build and launch a new, generic advertising campaign for polished diamonds. The importance and urgency of this meeting of minds cannot be understated.

The requirement to develop an industry-wide generic advertising capacity was necessitated by De Beers' decision some time ago to relinquish its role as the single entity investing in the generic advertising of polished diamonds. But the need to so has been made even more urgent as a result of the current financial crisis and the expectation that there will be ever greater competition for the luxury product consumer. I am very pleased that this meeting took place at the start of the year, so that we can begin planning as soon as possible,"

At the meeting in London, representatives of the major rough diamond producers, large diamond companies, the WFDB, our sister organization the International Diamond Manufacturers Association (IDMA) and the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) of India discussed the steps that need to be taken to advance an industry-wide attempt to manage the generic promotion of diamonds.  The meeting was facilitated and moderated by representatives of the international consultancy firm McKinsey & Company.

At the conclusion of this event, the attendees agreed to form a working group that includes WFDB, IDMA,  GJEPC, the leading diamond producers, as well as leading representatives from the diamond cutting and wholesale sector to further pursue the concept and to communicate on progress to the broader industry. 
It is clear we have our work cut out for us. We hope to report genuine progress as soon as possible.