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L.A. Pros Vote on a United Future

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LOS ANGELES Members of the Los Angeles Advertising Agencies Association, the Los Angeles Advertising Club and the Magazine Representatives Association are voting on a proposal to combine the entities into one board dedicated to the greater good of the industry here, according to Colleen Kelly, LA-AAA's president.

"All three boards approved the potential merger in the last month," she said, adding that a positive outcome is now likely. Kelly said the membership votes would be tabulated and the results announced at the annual meeting of the LA-AAA in Palm Springs, Calif., May 4-7.

"All three groups have been chugging along with their own agendas and own focuses," Kelly said. "And we started asking ourselves, wouldn't it be great if we were one consistent voice, telling the stories of the great things happening out here that we're not getting credit for?"

Kelly said that each group would keep "what is important to them. They'll still talk to their constituencies. Some of them will host the same events and run the same programs. This move raises the profile of everybody."

She said the new organization would "focus on smart thinking, great ideas and new business prospects."

The name and logo of the new organization is yet to be determined, Kelly said. The entity would begin June 1, given a thumbs-up vote.

"Any gathering of forces is a good thing because there is a lot of talent in L.A. but, like the landscape itself, it is very disparate," said Rob Schwartz, executive creative director at Omnicom Group's TBWA\Chiat\Day in Playa del Rey, Calif., who supports the merger. "And if we can unify and galvanize as a region, we can be as strong or stronger than any region in the country."