The news comes not long after three members withdrew from the MPA, with Hachette Filipacchi's departure two weeks ago followed by American Media and New York last week. It also came close on the heels of a similar announcement from the Outdoor Advertising Association of America, which also canceled its annual trade show, citing the recession.
Reflecting the woes of the advertising industry, the tandem cancellations also spelled bad news for Florida's hospitality industry. This year, the AMC was going to be held in Boca Raton, while the OAAA's conference was scheduled in May in Miami. In happier times, both conferences typically attracted hundreds of executives to tony resorts where they wielded corporate credit cards with abandon. But in the midst of the deepest economic downturn in decades, all this seems like an increasingly distant memory.
To cut costs, the MPA is hosting a substitute conference closer to home in New York, where executives will be able to attend without running up travel expenses. "We recognize that this year, our members are looking at a variety of ways to achieve savings, which would include curtailing certain discretionary travel and hotel expenses," said MPA president Nina Link.
Mediaweek reported that the MPA was slashing membership dues by 13% in 2009. This follows a 20% reduction in staff in 2008.