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2007 Account Planning Conference Kicks Off in San Diego 

O. Burtch Drake, president and CEO of the American Association of Advertising Agencies, today welcomed nearly 800 attendees to the 2007 AAAA Account Planning Conference, held here at the Manchester Grand Hyatt, August 6–8. Themed “Creating Possibilities: Planning to Extend the Boundaries of Creativity,” this year's conference intends to ignite debate about the rapidly changing world of marketing communications and creativity—and examine how planners play critical roles as catalysts for that change. The annual AAAA Account Planning Conference is the AAAA's second largest annual meeting, behind the AAAA Media Conference and Trade Show.

"Whether the function is called account planning, brand planning or strategic planning there's no question the roles that account planners play in their respective agencies today are having a profound impact on the way that all forms of marketing communications messages are developed, create and executed," said Drake, in his opening remarks. "This is an eclectic conference that is attracting more and more people not only from the United States, but internationally as well."

The Conference was programmed by AAAA Account Planning Committee co-chairs Catrina McAuliffe, Carmichael Lynch, Inc., and Suzanne Powers, TBWA\Chiat\Day New York. McAuliffe and Powers also serve as presiders over the two-and-a-half day conference. The programming of the breakout sessions was spearheaded by Andrew Delbridge, partner, svp, chief strategy officer, McKinney; Greg Dzurik, planning director, The Richards Group, Inc.; and Scott Karambis, managing partner, director of strategy, Mechanica.

Speaker highlights for the two-and-a-half day Conference include:

  • Bruce Mau, chairman, Bruce Mau Incorporated
  • Gregory Coleman, evp, global sales, Yahoo!
  • Carisa Bianchi, president, TBWA\Chiat\Day Los Angeles
  • Rob Schwartz, executive creative director, TBWA\Chiat\Day Los Angeles
  • Greg MacGillivray, MacGillivray Freeman Films
  • David Vanderveen, founder, XS Energy Drink
  • Penry Price, director, North American sales, Google
  • Eric Ryan, founder, method
  • John Partilla, president, global media group, Time Warner
  • Kevin Wall, CEO, Control Room; founder, Live Earth
  • Mike Murphy, vice president, media sales, Facebook.

"Our speakers represent thought leaders from a wide range of brands and experience," said Powers. "It's important for us as planners to view the world holistically in order to provide our brands with the fullest range of creative thinking."

Added McAuliffe, "With this Conference, our aim is to impart not only a theoretical, but practical approach to planning. As the avenues of expression change and expand, we need to be prepared to work on a multitude of levels."

Winners of the 2007 Jay Chiat Planning Awards and Pick of the Litter also will be announced at the Conference. Books containing the award-winning briefs from the 2006, 2005, 2004 and 2003 AAAA Jay Chiat Planning Awards are currently available for purchase.

Selected presentations from the 2007 Account Planning Conference will be Webcast from San Diego, courtesy of Yahoo! For the schedule of Webcasts, visit

The 2007 AAAA Account Planning Conference concludes Wednesday, August 8. The complete Conference agenda is available at

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 media, government, and the public sector.

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