- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 12, 2004

Local ad agencies are coming together to celebrate and promote their industry with the region’s first “Advertising Week.”

Beginning Sept. 20, organizations will host events to spotlight the achievements of the industry, showcase work and highlight the impact of the industry on the region. The area’s weeklong schedule of eventsis in conjunction with Advertising Week in New York City, the brainchild of the American Association of Advertising Agencies.

“The impact of advertising in the Washington region is extremely significant,” said Lee Proctor, president of the Advertising Club of Metropolitan Washington.

Advertising in the region generated $39.1 billion in revenue and produced nearly 359,000 jobs, according to a 1999 economic impact study by the WEFA Group, formerly known as Wharton Econometric Forecasting Associates. An updated version of the study will be released Friday.

The new results are “significantly better and show a healthy increase,” said Cary Hatch, president of MDB Communications and chairwoman of Advertising Week in Washington 2004.

“We are celebrating the industry and what the D.C. community brings to the party,” Ms. Hatch said. “People don’t recognize the value of advertising as part of the economic engine.”

Washington’s Advertising Week will include an official proclamation by Mayor Anthony A. Williams declaring “Advertising Week in Washington,” a “Tribute to Advertising” reception Sept. 20, a trip to New York to participate in the city’s events Sept. 22 and sponsored programs by the local chapters of the Public Relations Society of America, the American Marketing Association, the Direct Marketing Association and Women in Film and Video.

Advertising Week in New York, also taking place next week, has a much more extensive list of events reflecting the city’s status as the advertising capital of the world. The schedule includes exhibits, panels, seminars and award shows throughout Manhattan.

“The idea and goal of Advertising Week is to raise the awareness of the cultural and economic impact advertising has on the city and the country,” said Kipp Cheng, a spokesman for Advertising Week in New York City Inc., the nonprofit corporation organizing the city’s program. “The influence of advertising to our economy and popular culture is tremendous and that’s not often recognized.”

Also, the results of an online poll to name Americans’ top five ad icons and top five slogans will be revealed in a ceremony on Madison Avenue.

The online voting began in August and will last through Friday. More than 750,000 people have voted so far — choosing from 26 icons such as Tony the Tiger, Ronald McDonald and the Jolly Green Giant and 26 slogans such as the U.S. Army’s “Be all you can be,” Nike’s “Just do it” and Budweiser’s “Whassup?”

Organizers say Advertising Week will become an annual event. “This is just the beginning,” Ms. Hatch said.

Donna De Marco can be reached at 202/636-4884.Advertising & Marketing runs every other Monday.


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