Positive vibes reign at 4A's as agencies shrug off woes

Snyder, Beth; Petrecca, Laura
April 1999
Advertising Age;4/26/1999, Vol. 70 Issue 18, p2
Trade Publication
This article highlights the 1999 American Association of Advertising Agencies annual meeting. Maybe it was the sunshine. Or the warm ocean breeze. Something got into the executives this year at the annual American Association of Advertising Agencies meeting, where the overall theme was self-congratulatory and upbeat. Last year's rain drummed up a lot of worry about strategic consultants encroaching on agency territory -- and other problems that needed fixing. But sun seems to have kept the mood light, even as the same problems continue to plague agencies. O. Burtch Drake, Four A's president-CEO, led with an opening speech citing 12 reasons why advertising agencies should celebrate. Last year, he kicked off the confab with 12 things they should fix. Procter & Gamble Co. chairman John Pepper gave a speech affirming the role of agencies, it received an extended ovation. Still, the ongoing and niggling question of how to deal with competition from strategic consultants was never far from attendees' minds. Jack Connors, chairman-CEO of Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos and Brendan Ryan, worldwide chairman-CEO of Foote, Cone & Belding got into a spirited discussion about consultants during a morning panel session.


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