WMU News

WMU students take first, third in Better Business Bureau contest

October 20, 1998

KALAMAZOO -- Essays about self-regulation in the advertising industry by two Western Michigan University students won first and third place in the 1998 James P. Hoppin competition sponsored by the East Michigan Better Business Bureau.

Raja Izan Bin Raja Said Abidin, a graduate student pursuing a master's degree in business administration, and Mary Lobbestael, a senior majoring in advertising, won first place and third place, respectively, in the contest. They will be presented with their awards Friday, Oct. 30, at the organization's board meeting.

Izan will receive a $1,500 cash prize for his essay, "Self-Regulation in Advertising," which was chosen as the best of 40 entries. In his essay, Izan advocates self-regulation in advertising, stating that self-regulation not only serves the public interest, but maintains the integrity of the advertising industry as well.

"If everyone were to practice self-regulation, then it would be beneficial to all," he says. Izan, who is a graduate assistant in WMU's marketing department, is from Petaling Jaya, Malaysia, and is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Raja Said Abidin Bin Raja Shahrome. He attended WMU's twinning program at Sunway College in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, before transferring to WMU.

Lobbestael, of Manchester, Mich., will receive a $500 cash prize for her essay "Effective and Essential Use of Self-Regulation in Advertising." In her essay, Lobbestael advocates the efficiency and progress that self-regulation would bring to the advertising industry.

"In economic terms, self-regulation makes sense," she says. "We wouldn't have to pay for costly regulatory agencies, so it would save consumers money which would keep the money 'in-house' in the long run."

Lobbestael is the daughter of John and Lynda Lobbestael of Manchester.

This is the fourth year for the competition which was open to students studying marketing, advertising or communications at any two- or four-year college in Michigan, according to Carmel Weems, manager of

advertising review and media relations for the East Michigan Better Business Bureau. The topic of this year's contest, self-regulation in advertising, harkens back to the Better Business Bureau's beginnings 80 years ago as an organization formed for advertising vigilance. According to Weems, this is only the second year that WMU students have participated in the contest.

"To me that's a testament about what students are learning," Weems says. "It is very gratifying to give these awards to deserving students. We want people to be able to talk about these kinds of issues and this shows that students are coming out of school able to address ethics and advertising in communication."

Media contact: Marie Lee, 616 387-8400, marie.lee@wmich.edu

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