Madison Avenue Plans Week-Long Event Celebrating -- What Else? -- Madison Avenue

Fashion Week, The New York Film Festival, and most recently, The TriBeCa Film Festival are just a few examples of annual New York City events that have become brands in their own right. Now, fittingly, Madison Avenue is looking to cement itself in the consumer's conscience as its own brand.

The Advertising Association of America Thursday announced the inaugural season of Advertising Week, which will take place next fall from September 20-24. This event will be a celebration of advertising's myriad images and the agencies that create them. The event's coordinators and investors also hope that Advertising Week will bring back a much-needed buzz to the advertising industry after an overly publicized three-year slump.

"We've been through several tough years," admitted AAAA and Advertising Week President and CEO O. Burtch Drake. "We seem to be coming out of it, and we think now is the time to showcase what we do and how well we do it. We're here to reassert Madison Avenue as one of the pre-eminent industries in New York City."



Added Advertising Week and AAAA Chairman Ken Kaess, "Advertising is one of the most creative industries; we want to celebrate that creativity as well as the link between great advertising, profitability, and philanthropy."

Advertising Week will host events for at least 20 ad-related trade associations in New York City, including seminars, panel discussions, and the first-ever Advertising Awards for Excellence, as well as an Advertising Hall of Fame.

Marquee public events are currently being planned; at press-time four major exhibits, which are to be held at Grand Central Station's Vanderbilt Hall, were announced. Two of the exhibits will celebrate the contributions of advertising to public service; the others will celebrate quintessential New York themes-a tribute to the perennial "I Love New York" campaign, as well as a visual history of Broadway advertising.

The week will also feature the dedication of a Madison Avenue "Advertising Walk of Fame" that will cement-literally-America's favorite icons and slogans on Madison Avenue forever. Placards depicting icons like Kellogg's Tony the Tiger, the Energizer Bunny, and the Jolly Green Giant and their idiomatic slogans will be embedded in the sidewalks. The American public will vote on the icons and slogans to be inducted through a partnership with Yahoo! and USA Today. A celebratory parade of brand images along Madison Avenue is also being considered.

The two intellectual seminars planned thus far will contemplate the economic impact advertising has had on commerce, and advertising as a force of social and political change.

Statistically, the advertising industry employs more than 44,000 people in New York City, generating $4 billion in wages across more than 2,000 different advertising-related companies, and ranking as one of the city's single largest industries.

Yahoo!, The New York Times, and Advertising Age have committed to Advertising Week as Lead Sponsors for the event, which will cost several million dollars to execute. USA Today, ESPN, The Audit Bureau of Circulations, and Ernst & Young are confirmed marketing partners. So far, more than 20 top advertising associations have pledged support and resources to the event, which will be the largest gathering of industry decision and image makers to date.

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