DALLAS-Faced with dwindling participation and American Advertising Federation concerns over a possible demise, Dallas Ad League officials said they have stepped up efforts at reinvigorating the club this year.
Starting with a regular meeting schedule, the ad league will also unveil new programs and examine changes in the annual Tops show, DAL’s local Addy competition.
At last February’s Tops show, 1997-98 DAL board president Mark Johnson learned nearly all the show’s entrants had no connections with DAL. The apathy had become so visible, the AAF believed the club was close to folding, according to incoming 10th District governor Heberto Gutierrez of San Antonio.
A summer retreat with board members “made us realize what our potential was in comparison to what our performance was,” said Johnson, Southwest advertising manager for The Wall Street Journal.
For the first time, all board members are required to head a club program, from legislative oversight to student tours. DAL will unveil a job bank network service this fall and hold all monthly luncheons at the CityPlace Conference Center. Non-members and other groups, such as the Dallas Society of Visual Communications, will be welcome to attend as DAL attempts to grow into an umbrella group for all advertising-related clubs, according to Johnson. Johnson has also nominated Dallas as host site of the 1999 AAF 10th District Leadership Conference. “They almost fainted when I raised my hand,” he said.
Perhaps DAL’s foremost task, however, is improving Tops. Dallas agency principal Susan Knape is heading those efforts, admittedly after she herself skipped the 1997 event because of the interminable length the show has reached in recent years-as much as six hours. All aspects of the show’s presentation, from skits to announcements, will be re-examined in meetings with the board and members.
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