AD AND MEDIA CLUBS TO MERGE IN SOUTHERN CALIF.

New Group to Promote Region's Marketing Prowess

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LOS ANGELES (AdAge.com) -- The Southern California marketing community is about to merge clubs representing marketers, agencies, media and related companies into one organization dedicated to promoting the region’s marketing prowess.

“We all want to focus our energy in the same place -- we want to bring more business into this market, get good creative people to move here and to have marketers view this as the No. 1 place to go, not the second or third or fourth,” said Colleen Kelly, president of the Los Angeles Advertising Agencies Association and a partner in the Los Angeles office of Interpublic Group of Cos.' Deutsch.

Sold-out dinner
Ms. Kelly last night announced the initiative at a sold-out, $160-a-seat dinner for 750 at the Regent Beverly Wilshire. The dinner, sponsored by the Los Angeles Advertising Agencies Association, honored Rob Schwartz, executive creative director at Omnicom Group's TBWA/Chiat/Day, Los Angeles, as Leader of the Year. Roger Van Remmen, president of the Advertising Club of Los Angeles, and Lisa Keller, president of the Magazine Representatives Association, the two other organizations in the group, joined Ms. Kelly in making the announcement.

Formal creation of the yet-to-be-named organization will take place following a mail-in vote from members of each group. Ms. Kelly said the new group has enough support from the boards to approve the merger, making an upset at the ballot box unlikely.

The Ad Club has over 500 individual members and the magazine group has 200 individual members. The Los Angeles Advertising Agencies Association has 39 member agencies.

Interdisciplinary board
Ms. Kelly said the board of the collaborative, nonprofit mutual-benefit corporation will have between 16 and 20 voting members from all the region’s marketing-related disciplines, including marketing, media, advertising, interactive and entertainment. Currently the three groups have 45 voting members between them.

In addition to touting the region, the new organization will continue its education, networking and award programs, she said.

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