Retired executives from General Mills and Dow Jones & Co. have been named the first recipients of the American Advertising Federation's Barton A. Cummings Gold Medal Award. They are James Fish, who retired as General Mills senior VP-corporate communications in 1979 after 41 years with the company, and Donald Macdonald, who retired as vice chairman of Dow Jones in 1986. As chairman of the Joint Commission of the Advertising Federation of America and the Advertising Association of the West, Mr. Fish helped bring about the merger of the two organizations in 1967 as the AAF. He was AAF chairman in 1976-77. Mr. Macdonald worked with Mr. Fish on the AAF merger and was first chairman of the merged group. He now is chairman of the National Council of the American Advertising Museum in Portland, Ore. The men will be honored during the AAF conference next month in Tampa, Fla. ``These two advertising leaders helped shape the course of their industry over the past 40 years,'' AAF President Wally Snyder said. ``Had it not been for these two men, the AAF as we know it would not exist.''