IAA, Local Shops Revive San Francisco’s Ad Show

It may be five months late, but San Francisco will have an advertising show this year.

The International Advertising Association, in co operation with local agencies Foote, Cone & Belding, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners and Publicis & Hal Riney, has organized “The Best of San Francisco Show,” to be held this Wednesday in FCB’s offices on Battery Street.

There will be no formal awards presentation. The exhibition is aimed at calling attention to work from local agencies while uniting a community that has been hit hard by the economic downturn, organizers said.

The future of the annual show had been left uncertain after its previous organizer, the San Francisco Ad Club, folded at the beginning of the year. When no show was scheduled for April, it appeared that the city that was often cited as a creative epicenter of the ad business through much of the 1990s would be left without its own annual gathering.

Ian Beavis, president and CEO of FCB San Francisco, said he decided to host the show at his agency as a way to signal the ad community’s continuing rebound.

“My sense has always been that we need to get people focused on improving the business and doing great work,” said Beavis. “There is still a very vibrant community here doing world-class work. This is a way to help people gain some confidence that there is a recovery under way in this industry. If it helps let people know what we’re doing, then it’s good.”

In past shows, work was submitted to a panel of judges, but organizers decided that no awards will be presented this year. “There’s been a feeling in the city that awards were self-indulgent,” Beavis said. “So we’re just asking agencies what their best stuff is and letting them compare it to their peers.”

The show will include an exhibition of broadcast, interactive and print work. Each shop can submit as many as seven ads. The work will be distributed later on a CD-ROM.