AAAA Management Conference Looks Forward
After Sept. 11 and the recession, which made 2001 a tumultuous year for the industry, looking forward is "a most fitting motif for the mood of our industry, and indeed of our nation," Drake said. "Our business will continue to grow and prosper, and it's time to look forward."
In his speech, Drake looked forward to the initiatives the AAAA has laid out for this year. The Management Services Division will continue its personal visit program, which was doubled last year when the division made visits to 180 agencies to assist them with management and finance issues.
The Division has developed one-day seminars on finance and human resources to assist members coping with the recession. Meetings are scheduled for Los Angeles in May and New York in June.
In Washington, the AAAA is working on legal issues that affect advertising. The AAAA has hired a new lobbying firm with strong ties to the Republican Party, which controls the White House and the House of Representatives. "They will provide us with considerable assistance as we gear up to handle several particularly significant hot button issues, including the advertising of prescription drugs, the deductibility of advertising as a business expense, tax threats in several states and pressure on the right to advertise certain legal but controversial products," Drake said.
In New York, the AAAA is developing AAAA University, a professional Internet based training program that will roll out later this fall. The AAAA is also developing the Industry Standard Commercial Identifier, a coding system that will be used to track TV commercials. ISCI will enable ad units to be trafficked digitally and linked to databases, which will simplify the buying, selling and billing process.
The AAAA is also moving ahead with electronic data interchange.
The AAAA is also at work on a Value of Advertising initiative, which conducts studies to demonstrate the financial value of advertising, including one on the value of advertising in a recession, which is especially relevant now.