An Open Letter to the AD Club of New York

by Laurel Rossi, outgoing Chairman of the Board of Directors

Laurel_Rossi_ppt_200xThe past 2 years have been tremendous growth years for the ADVERTISING Club of New York, marked by our distinction as the bravest organization in the industry. We set an industry leadership agenda for the club that includes our diversity initiative and our ability to engage and mobilize the most gifted people in the media, advertising and marketing industries.  What do I mean by that?

Many of you already know that there are a number of topics that we evangelize, including diversity; aggressive promotion and support of women by helping them defy the 75%-at-the-bottom/3%-at-the-top dynamic; an unflagging commitment to the very highest quality and integrity creative prize in the industry in the ANDY Awards; professional support and development at all levels, and opportunities to attract talent to our business by providing scholarship and training to the most talented young professionals coming into the workforce, even in the face of stiff competition from technology firms and Wall Street.

These past two years have been marked by action and not just words as we accomplished many of our goals (or at least put a big dent in our goals) we set for the club:

  • We set a new course for our diversity initiative I’mPart, grounded in a study conducted by our partners at PWC that is unlike any other in our business. We are not satisfied knowing that the industry does not yet have a real prescription for change. The ADVERTISING Club of New York has put programs in place to activate change by supporting work that brings gender, thought, ethnic and creative diversity to an industry that prides itself in its open and innovative thinking. We have put our money where our mouth is by installing a new platform for MEDIACTION with our partners at Rubicon Project, and through all of you who have worked so hard helping to reinvent our highly successful development infrastructure – the funding-fuel for all that we do in development and diversity.
  • We led the industry with a female jury chair in Colleen DeCourcy this year and were just shy of a 50% female jury from around the world.
  • We built an agenda for programming focused on action and calls-to-action that mobilize senior executives in our industry to effect change.
  • We have set a course for unprecedented opportunities to work with CMOs and brands to impact real change. Not just panel discussions, but activist groups that are committed to taking on the toughest challenges in our business.

We have articulated our mission as a brave and powerful organization that can change policy and work with corporate America to truly affect how we articulate and set culture because our mission is simple: Be Brave. Be Bold. Be the Action – not just the words.

This work is getting done because we have the most impressive, engaged, thoughtful and credentialed Board of Directors and Staff. Thank you all. It has been my honor.