FEDERATION REVAMPS ADDYS

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TAMPA, Fla.-American Advertising Federation executives are hoping a repositioning of the Addy brand will strengthen the organization's clout worldwide.

The proposition, which met with unanimous approval from the AAF board at its national conference June 2 here, calls for changing the name of the Addy award event to the American Advertising Awards. The trophy itself, which is likely to undergo a remodeling, will remain the Addy, said Frank DeVito, vice chairman of Lintas Worldwide, and board member and national Addy chairman for the AAF.

The idea is to expand the existing knowledge about the organization and the benefits it offers its 50,000 members, he said.

"Outside the core group of members, few people know what the Addys are all about," said Mr. DeVito. "For an organization this good for the business, why doesn't anybody know who we are?"

The issue comes to a head as other award events draw increasing awareness from the global community. From Clios to Cannes Lions to Andys, the world has come to know the competition, said Mr. DeVito.

To answer that the AAF plans both to rename the award event and launch a major marketing blitz for the change in time for the call for entries, in August.

Funding the marketing effort remains "a question," said Wally Snyder, AAF president. After the marketing executive committee completes the plan later this month, creative likely will be handled by member agencies and limited buys will be made in trade journals. A call for funding help from local clubs or even the recruitment of a national sponsor has not been ruled out, he said.

The change will affect the national event more so than the local groups, who will be free to call their event the Addy awards, Mr. Snyder said.

AAF leaders also hope to build on the current 135 corporate members by attracting an additional seven corporate members a year through the year 2000, added Mr. Snyder.

To promote itself within the industry, the organization will play up its non-profit status, public service efforts and work with students. The AAF also will promote its government relations efforts and its recent work against ad tax issues, said Mr. Snyder.

"We want to promote the real character of the brand, which is the American Advertising Awards," he said.

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