“These two men have influenced so many businesses throughout their impressive careers, and today they continue to inspire generations,” said Barbara Parker, DMA awards programs director.
Crain was introduced by Lester Wunderman, founder of direct marketing agency Wunderman, and himself a DMA Hall of Famer, who called Crain “a vigorous champion and proponent of ethics in our industry.”
“What we're seeing today is the merging of general advertising and direct marketing,” said Crain, who also is editor in chief of Advertising Age, Crain's Chicago Business and Crain's New York Business. (Crain Communications also publishes BtoB.)
“When we achieve the holy grail of ‘wasteless' advertising, I believe it will be through the efforts of direct marketers,” Crain said. “Some of the smartest, most sophisticated work is being done by direct marketers and their agencies, including the great work done by Howard Draft.”
Draft was introduced by Pam El, VP-marketing for longtime Draft client State Farm Insurance, who said Draft “has the vision to allow him to fearlessly lead and, when he knows he's right, there's no stopping him.”
“Along with hard work, I was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time to accomplish what I did at a growing agency,” said Draft, who was one of his agency's original founders in 1978. “I also was lucky enough not to get fired for stupid mistakes in my early days.”