AAF Reinvents Itself

At a time when some associations are struggling, the American Advertising Federation has added new corporate members and is attempting to renew its image with a new reality TV show, Facebook, and Twitter, according to a recent Adage article.

It's all happening under James Edmund Datri, 42, who recently spoke to a breakfast meeting and "State of the Industry" luncheon hosted by the Cincinnati Ad Club.

Mr. Datri wants to improve the industry's image. To that end, he said he's in talks about turning the AAF's National Student Advertising Competition into a reality TV show, to give both students and the general public a better idea of what the industry actually does.
"One of the issues we have when it comes to public policy is that people don't have a very good perception of us," he said. "I want the public to see that advertising is so much more than [Madison Avenue], and I think by showcasing NSAC on a reality TV show, we're going to generate a positive perception of our industry that could really be a game changer."
Despite the recession and revenue reductions for the group because of cuts in corporate sponsorships, Mr. Datri said the AAF has had a net gain in corporate members on his watch, keeping to his goal of adding one new corporate member a month, including JCPenney and the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. so far.

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