Readers looking forward to Advertising Week ’06

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The majority of Advertising Age readers who answered our poll are looking forward to next year's Advertising Week. Kudos focused on the overall concept-"a great celebration of our industry," said Barb Scherer, director-strategic planning, Orlando-based Push. "The advertising industry is in need of some good PR and should be on the map like any other business community," said Rob Thorsen, strategist at Mother, New York.

But even supportive voters criticized the five-day festival's lengthy calendar of events. "Too many events that attracted similar audiences going on at the same time," said Roy Moskowitz, CEO, Staten Island-based Reciprocal Results. "Who has the time to go to all these events-as well as complete a regular week's work?"

Jennifer Stefano, CEO, Border Billboard, San Diego: "It was hard to get my arms around what would be the best use of my time. Not only were there Week activities, but also AHAA and OMMA." Franchot Mackin, director-media sales, TransCore Media in Portland, Ore., said many of the New York-based agency clients she wanted to meet were swamped with year-end planning and unable to attend events or see her. Her recommendation: "Spring might be a better time of year."

Still, Sean MacPhedran, creative strategist at Fuel Industries in Ottawa, believes more was better. "It's a marketing geek's dream."

Content critics urged organizers to move beyond "back-patting" and "silly self-aggrandizement" to tackle tough issues facing the industry. Suggestions from Christopher Montgomery, Intellilink Solutions, included: "How do we handle Sarbanes-Oxley reporting? Is there new technology we can use to manage project cost tracking? How do we make sure we have the right people at the right time to work on the right projects and clients?" Dennis D'Amico, Growth Strategies Group, Dallas, said the week should be devoted to "ethics, effectiveness and the e-world. How can we do a better job?" To Jennifer Dozier, IT project manager at GroupM, a focus on advertising and technology is crucial: "We need to become more like Wall Street when it comes to our technology, for sure."

On behalf of the 28% who voted against year No. 3, Dick Harrison, of Harrison O'Neal, Knoxville, Tenn., put his objections bluntly: "A `week' that is irrelevant to everyone but its participants is an embarrassment to our industry. It's an institutional onanism, and ought not be performed in public."

What you say:

72% of voters believe Advertising Week should be restaged for a third year. Sentiment toward the event is overwhelmingly positive, despite the sometimes heated debates about the wisdom of putting Mr. Peanut, Charlie the Tuna and the DoubleMint Twins at the front and center of the festivities.

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