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Ad community responds

The Association of National Advertisers expresses its deep sympathy to all those whose personal and professional lives have been affected-in some cases devastatingly-by the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.

Many of our members, colleagues and associates have suffered massive business disruption and, more tragically, the loss of family and friends.

To the entire marketing community, we offer our heartfelt feelings of support at this very difficult time.

Apart from the individual decisions that people and businesses must make going forward, many are asking how the marketing community as a whole should respond.

Already, numerous companies are taking short-term steps-for example, making creative adjustments to existing advertising and marketing campaigns. But longer-term, marketers may well need to communicate in dramatically different ways.

The priorities, goals, fears and heroes of consumers after Sept. 11 will likely be quite different from those before that tragic date.

Marketers must listen closely to consumers, understand their mind-set changes and then figure out new, sensitive ways to meaningfully and sustainably connect with them.

That, in our opinion, is the biggest marketing challenge: connecting with consumers at a time when our nation and its people are experiencing new needs, desires and motivations.

It's also an immediate challenge-one that marketers must focus on right now. Recognizing this need, the ANA has cancelled our annual conference scheduled for Oct. 10-14 at the Ritz-Carlton in Naples, Fla.

Although there were compelling reasons to hold this meeting-not the least of which was a public demonstration that the U.S. business community would not allow terrorists to shut us down-the needs of our members and the nation as a whole will be better served, we feel, by marketers focusing their time and energies on fully getting back to business.

During the coming weeks, we at the ANA will become a vital networking hub, helping our members connect with each other and share marketing best practices to effectively manage in this difficult environment.

We also intend to take a leadership role in bringing the entire marketing community together in important ways that not only advance our mutual business interests, but also support our nation's broader imperatives.

To that end, we will work with our sister associations and policymakers in government to determine the best ways for the marketing profession to contribute meaningfully to the national good.

Together, we will make a huge impact.

john j. sarsen jr.


Association of National Advertisers

New York

IAA members concerned

It is always darkest just before the dawn. Sept. 11 was one of history's darkest days. Now the dawn is on the horizon, the dawn of a freedom-loving, determined and courageous worldwide community. The people who worked in the World Trade Center have ancestries that represent 40 countries. They are civilized people who value individual freedom.

While we mourn the loss of friends and colleagues, we shall always remember the courage of the police, firefighters and all of the rescue personnel who risked their lives, and in some cases gave their lives, to help others. It is just such selfless generosity that is at the core of the good people of the world.

Among those good people are the marketing-communications professionals around the world. Their emails, faxes and telephone calls are flooding into the world secretariat of the International Advertising Association in New York City. IAA marketing-communications professionals from all over the world have Americans on their minds, and their advertising colleagues here in their hearts.

As one IAA chapter president, from 6,000 miles away, said on the telephone, "This tragedy has made us all Americans."

Their instant and spontaneous expression of care for IAA's members in the U.S. is proof that the communications community world-wide represents the best of humanity. And that our IAA colleagues in 94 countries have faith in our strength and courage to move forward.

It cannot be business as usual. The business of advertising around the world, driven by its commitment to creativity, must raise its sights and the sights of all civilized people.

One of our greatest presidents, Abraham Lincoln, made our course of action clear. In another hour of national peril, he counseled: As our situation is new, so must we think anew, and act anew.

We must refresh and expand our crusade for freedom of commercial speech based on mutual respect among individuals and marketers, where marketers can inform and inspire individuals to live the life they want in a free-market society.

wally o'brien

Director General

International Advertising Association

New York

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