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Advertising Week kicks off in NYC

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Industry associations seek to raise profile of ad industry with events, seminars, parade

More than 10,000 advertising executives are expected to participate in the inaugural Advertising Week in New York City Sept. 20-24, with the goal of raising the profile of the advertising industry on a local, state and national level.

Advertising Week was spearheaded by the American Association of Advertising Agencies, with participation by more than 25 industry associations, including the Association of National Advertisers, the Interactive Advertising Bureau, American Business Media and the Advertising Research Foundation.

"The goal is to celebrate the advertising business in all of its forms, including ad agencies, advertisers, media and anyone else who works in the business," said O. Burtch Drake, president-CEO of the Four A's.

"Advertising is one of the largest industries in New York City," said Drake, noting that the financial and tourism industries typically receive the most attention as leading industries in New York. "We want to reinforce to the city and state the importance of this industry to New York City and New York state."

To do so, the Four A's will release an econometrics study on Sept. 21 that tabulates the value of advertising in New York City and New York state.

Advertising Week will kick off Monday, Sept. 20 with leading advertising executives ringing the opening bell of the NASDAQ stock market, followed by a parade of famous American advertising icons in costume, including the Jolly Green Giant, the Energizer Bunny and Tony the Tiger. The parade will begin at 10:15 a.m. EDT in Times Square and end at 10:45 a.m. at East 50th St. and Madison Avenue.

Yahoo! and USA Today, sponsors of the ad icon procession, are hosting an online poll on their sites, where users can vote for their favorite ad icons. The winners will be inducted into the Madison Avenue Advertising Walk of Fame during a ceremony following the parade.

Also on Monday, an exhibit will open at Vanderbilt Hall in Grand Central Station, featuring ad campaigns by the Ad Council, the Partnership for a Drug-free America and Broadway, as well as the I (c) New York campaign.

On Monday evening, an opening gala at Gracie Mansion will be attended by more than 500 advertisers and ad agency executives, as well as dignitaries from New York city and state.

During the week, association partners will hold individual conferences, meetings, seminars and events. The Interactive Advertising Bureau and MediaPost will host Interactive Advertising World on Sept. 20 and 21, designed for interactive ad agencies, advertisers, Web publishers and technology companies. The show is expected to draw more than 1,000 attendees, said Greg Stuart, president-CEO of the IAB.

The IAB to date has not been a leader in producing events. Its annual meetings and conferences typically attract a few hundred executives. Stuart is out to change that. "We are out to be the big event in interactive advertising," he said.

Stuart declined to speculate on whether Interactive Advertising World would be competing head to head with ad:tech, currently the leading event in the interactive advertising space, produced by JD Events.

He said what differentiates IAW from other online industry events is its ability to draw senior-level advertising executives, and the strength of its relationships with its members.

IAW will feature speakers, workshops, networking events and the first OMMA (Online Media, Marketing and Advertising) Awards on Tuesday night.

Also on Tuesday night of Advertising Week, the ABM will present its annual Creative Excellence in Business Advertising (CEBA) awards.

Other events during the week include a Sponsorship Marketing Series hosted by the ANA, a Focus on Radio Series hosted by the Radio Advertising Bureau, panel discussions hosted by the Four A's and a "Battle of the Ad Bands" featuring bands made up of ad agency staffers.

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