L.A.’s AAA Votes Kelly President

LOS ANGELES Colleen Kelly was elected president of the Los Angeles Advertising Agencies Association yesterday.

Kelly succeeds Joe Hartnett, who held the post for a year. She joined the association five years ago and has served as the group’s treasurer and vice president.

“I like the organization because the board is all high-level agency principals,” said Kelly, director of media planning and partner at Interpublic Group’s Deutsch/LA, where billings rose from $2 million to $800 million since she joined in 1997. “And there is no singular objective other than benefiting local agencies.” Kelly said Los Angeles has “always had a bit of an inferiority complex” and that she would like to give it a higher profile.

Her goals include working with groups such as the Advertising Club of Los Angeles and the Magazine Representatives Association on events so as not to “look at ours in a vacuum.” She said she would also re-evaluate the “10 different things we do for agencies” for their current relevance and value and try to improve upon the spring conference in Palm Springs.

“It has been very speaker focused in the past,” Kelly said. “Instead of another seminar on how business is tougher and our clients are getting meaner, I’d like to make it more friendly, with speakers saying uplifting and inspiring things.”