27 Jul 2009 7:54 AM | Anonymous

Keepers of the Legacy 

Andrew Graff
CEO, Allen & Gerritsen
Chairman, The Ad Club

As Chairman of the Ad Club of Boston and the New England Regional Board of the 4A’s, I’ve thought a lot about these organizations’ contributions to our business in a Web 2.0 world.  

In addition to the pure lobbying power of hundreds and thousands of members united for a cause, trade associations are the historians and keepers of the timeline that link us all together.  They archive and record the work we produce.  They can reference the people and the events that have influenced the evolution of the advertising, marketing, production and media industries.   Sure, a Google search and Wikipedia entries can pull up some of this data, but trade associations and award show staff show how it can be put it into context. 

As we planned the Boston Ad Club Reunion, we uncovered a lot of interesting artifacts and oral histories that underscore the importance of our industry.  According to Paul McDermott, the Director of the Ad Club from 1969-1979, the entire Boston media and ad agency community embarked on a massive public service campaign during the busing crisis in Boston.  This time in Boston’s history was charged and violent.  The Ad Club members wanted to remind demonstrators that there were CHILDREN on the buses and the importance of keeping them safe.  Over 20 public service campaigns were filmed and the Boston media agreed to air them during prime time.  Taking the campaign a step further, the Club’s members created customized brochures for each school in the system to welcome new students who were enrolling for the first time.  

Our current crisis, the economic crisis, has sprung Ad Clubs and associations like the AAAA and ANA into action to help its members.  

What programs or initiatives could a trade organization implement to help you or your business?

Find this post on the A&G Blog


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