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2008 AAAA Leadership Conference Opens at The Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel 

The 90th annual American Association of Advertising Agencies Leadership Conference kicked off today at The Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel, California. With a future-forward view, the Conference introduces a new generation of AAAA leadership; Nancy Hill, president-CEO, AAAA, and Tom Carroll, president-CEO, TBWA Worldwide, and newly elected Chairman of the Board will present their views on how they want to create an association that not only addresses the immediate concerns of AAAA member agencies, but looks to working collaboratively towards the future.

Nearly 400 attendees are expected to gather for the two-and-a-half day Conference, which runs through Wednesday, April 30.

Other program highlights include presentations by Lee Clow, chairman and chief creative officer, TBWA Worldwide; Irwin Gotlieb, CEO, GroupM ; Eric Schmidt, chairman and CEO, Google; Jerry Yang, co-founder and CEO, Yahoo!, interviewed by David Kenny, Chairman and CEO, Digitas; among others. Additionally, during Tuesday afternoon, there will be three special Interactive Digital Lab sessions, with representation from Apple iPhone, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo!, among others.

“This year’s Conference has been deliberately constructed to demonstrate the intense creativity in technology and imagination that surrounds us,” said Nancy Hill. “Our world is in the midst of an explosion of ideas and our program’s diverse range of speakers and presentations reflect that.”

Executive Workshop for Small and Mid-Sized Agencies

“Planning Tools for Tomorrow: Chaos to Nirvana in Six Hours,” a special day-long workshop for executives from small and mid-sized agencies began today, Monday, April 28, facilitated by Andy Fletcher, president and CEO, Fletcher Martin. Featured speakers at the SAMs workshop include: David H. Freedman, contributing editor, Inc. magazine and special correspondent, Newsweek International; Brian Brooker, chief creative officer and CEO, Barkley; Bill Fogarty and Rich Klein, co-chairs of FKM; Bruce Carlisle, senior associate, interactive agency management & solutions, A-Team Advisors; Tim Brenton, founder and president, The Brenton Group; and Mark Schnurman, president and co-founder, Filament Inc.

Tuesday Conference Highlights

  • Tom Carroll, president-CEO, TBWA Worldwide; incoming chairman, AAAA Board of Directors
  • Nancy Hill, President-CEO, AAAA
  • Linda Sawyer, CEO, Deutsch Inc.
  • Lee Clow, chairman and chief creative officer, TBWA Worldwide, discusses creative innovation
  • Eric Schmidt, chairman and CEO, Google
  • Irwin Gotlieb, CEO, GroupM, explains why there are no excuses for not understanding the digital future
  • Clive Wilkinson, founder, Clive Wilkinson Architects
  • Ben Silverman, co-chairman, NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios, is interviewed by Michael Kassan, principal, Media Link LLC

The afternoon breakout sessions include three Interactive Digital Labs:

  • The Collision of the Physical and Digital Worlds, programmed by Colleen DeCourcy, chief digital officer, TBWA Worldwide. Demonstrations: Apple iPhone, Google Earth & Maps, Google Mobile, Google Print Ads, Ford Sync vehicle courtesy of Microsoft, Nike+
  • The Democratization of Media: When Consumers Become Your Distributors, programmed by Matt Freeman, CEO Worldwide, Tribal DDB Worldwide
    From Google: iGoogle, YouTube, Bebo
    From Microsoft: BEET, Microsoft, Xbox Live Marketplace, Video (MSNBC), Zune
    From Yahoo!: Widget Bar Mobile Station, Flickr Photo Station
    From The New York Times: The Democratization of Content
    From Millions of Us: Virtual Worlds
  • In the Digital Age, What Is a Brand to Do?, presented by Carla Hendra, chairman, Ogilvy New York, co-CEO, Ogilvy North America; and Jan Leth, vice chairman, global digital creative, Ogilvy North America

Wednesday Conference Highlights

  • Anton Levy, managing director, General Atlantic Global Growth Investors, will discuss why the VC community is so high on communications agencies with Andrew Ross Sorkin, assistant editor, business & finance, chief mergers & acquistions reporter, The New York Times
  • Brian McAndrews, senior vice president, Microsoft Advertiser & Publisher Solutions
  • Catherine Bension, president-CEO, SelectResources International
  • Shifting Compensation Practices: Putting a Price on Creativity, a panel discussion moderated by Suzanne Vranica, advertising & marketing columnist, The Wall Street Journal, with Andy Fletcher, CEO, Fletcher Martin; Carl Johnson, founder and partner, Anomaly; and Ben Slater, director of new business development, Bartle Bogle Hegarty.

About the AAAA
The American Association of Advertising Agencies is the national trade association of the advertising agency business. The 1,196 member agency offices it serves in the United States employ 65,000 people, offer a wide range of marketing communications services, and place 80 percent of all national advertising. The management-oriented association helps its members build their businesses, and acts as the industry’s spokesman with government, media, and the public sector. For more information visit our Web site at

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