AAAA's Bans Group From Attending Advertising Week
Following a Talent Zoo article by Danny G in which G offered comment on the upcoming Advertising Week, the American Association of Advertising Agencies has un-invited the advertising recruitment and resource site from speaking at the event. Perhaps prompted by G's comment on the value proposition of Advertising Week, "It'd be more valuable to show the business world how great agencies solve real marketing problems than to have Aunt Jemima give Mr. Whipple a hand job in Times Square," the AAAA's had a hissy and pulled Talent Zoo's speaking invite.
G's point is that Advertising Week is not a fair representation of the advertising industry and he suggests that not only the icons of advertising (Tony the Tiger, Jolly Green Giant or Captain Crunch) get play but, humorously, so should, "Ashley The Scantily-Clad Creative Summer Intern or Rhonda the Token African-American Employee Who's In Either Media or Accounting, I'm Not Sure." The AAAA's didn't take kindly to that alternative view and sent an email dis-inviting the group. Talent Zoo President Rick Meyers also says the AAAA's "wouldn't recognize site's like Talent Zoo or blog sites as media outlets."
That's diametrically opposed the the Association of National Advertisers who has their own blog and has invited Adrants to attend their upcoming annual event.
We had our own comments late last year on the AAAA's Advertising Week event that were aligned with G's and while we still feel like it's going to be a self-congratulatory party (we can't pass on a good party, now, can we?), there's some merit to drawing other businesses and the public into the world of advertising. After all, the advertising future will be a world where consumers, to a great degree, not marketers, control how marketing messages are consumed.
Any first time event is bound to attract comment and that's a very good thing. It should be welcomed. It only helps to improve the future of said event. Banning participation by groups that may have an alternative viewpoint, though, is a very bad thing. There's no left without a right. There's no positive without a negative. No night without day. G's comments might have been a bit inflammatory and any organization has the right to choose who they'd like to attend their events but banning a valuable resource from exposure to the very people who need it is The AAAA's shouldn't be afraid of Talent Zoo. In fact, one of two things would happen if the AAAA's allowed Talent Zoo to attend - both good for the AAAA. If Talent Zoo take G's tone to the event, Talent Zoo will either add great humor to the event or get booed off the stage.
The AAAA's wins both ways. And yes all you "conflict of interest" nudniks, Talent New lists their jobs on this site but we'd feel the same way even if they didn't.
UPDATE: According to MediaPost's The RIff, the AAAA's has reinstated Talent Zoo's invite.