Ad Players Team to Boost U.S. Image Overseas

DANA POINT, CALIF. In a keynote address at the 2003 ANA National Conference here, Keith Reinhard, chief executive of Omnicom Group’s DDB Worldwide, identified the players taking part in a multi-faceted task force dedicated to sensitizing U.S. businesses to problems abroad and suggesting principles to businesses operating overseas.

The “Task Force to Mobilize American Business for Public Diplomacy” has held three roundtable seminars to date and by next year will create a charter to refocus its mission with a formal business plan. “It’s not about making ads,” he said. “It’s about actions and changing perceptions of the United States.”

Current ad agency members include: Steve Blamer, president of Grey Global Group’s Grey Worldwide; Jack Leslie, chairman of Interpublic Group’s Weber Shandwick Worldwide; Tim Love, vice chairman of Publicis Groupe’s Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide; and Joe Plummer, executive vice president, director of research and insight development at IPG’s McCann-Erickson Worldwide. Brand marketers are onboard from companies including American Airlines, EDS, McDonald’s, Nokia, Sesame Workshop and Warner Brothers as are Deans from Harvard Business School and Yale.

—Brandweek staff report