There's a lot of talk lately about donations and speech payments made to the Clinton Foundation by influential and controversial parties such as Saudi Arabia and banking industry titans. But the ad industry is in on the Clinton funding game, too. The Direct Marketing Association, ad agencies and data and marketing tech firms have given the organization, dedicated to global health and economic development, hundreds of thousands of dollars.
According to recently-released Clinton Foundation speaking payment data, the Direct Marketing Association Nonprofit Federation gave between $10,000 and $25,000 to the foundation for a speaking engagement featuring Chelsea Clinton, the organization's vice chair. The foundation does not provide exact payment amounts for speaking engagements and donations.
Information about DMA's New York Nonprofit Conference held in August lists the first daughter as the keynoter:
"'We are delighted to have a luminary such as Ms. Clinton as our featured speaker,' said DMA Interim President Jane Berzan. 'The New York Nonprofit Conference is all about sparking creative breakthroughs and providing unique insights to inspire fundraising success. Through her impressive work with the Clinton Foundation -- including the Foundation's health programs, the Clinton Foundation Day of Action program, the Clinton Foundation Millennium Network, and the Clinton Global Initiative University -- Ms. Clinton has established herself as a leader in the community and an inspiration for philanthropists everywhere.'"
"Chelsea Clinton spoke at the New York Nonprofit Conference, which is a venue for nonprofits and fundraisers, so this was an appropriate venue for a Clinton Foundation executive to speak," said Susan Taplinger, DMA senior director of communications. "DMA paid a fee that was in keeping with fees paid to other nonprofit executives to deliver keynote presentations."
Nonprofits like the foundation, of course, are big direct marketers. Political campaigns such as Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign are, too.
Other big names in the ad world show up in the list of Clinton Foundation supporters. AOL and Hill+Knowlton Strategies each gave between $25,000 and $50,000 in 2014. WPP and 72andSunny donated between $50,000 and $100,000 to the foundation last year.
Also, Bill Clinton commanded between $250,000 and $500,000 to speak for IBM-owned marketing-cloud firm Unica.
Another big industry name that shows up on the list of Clinton Foundation funders last year: Acxiom. The company, which has longtime ties to the Clintons through its home-base in Little Rock, Ark., gave between $500,000 and $1 million to the organization last year. What's interesting is Acxiom is not listed among firms that paid for a Clinton to speak, though the company had Mr. Clinton speak at its March 2013 event in New York.