What is AAF? A look at the national organization

Established in 1905, the American Advertising Federation (AAF) is the only organization that includes members across all disciplines and career levels in advertising. Whether you’re new to the fast-paced world of advertising or a seasoned professional, the AAF is for you. We’re here to help you advance your career, build your connections and celebrate this ever-changing, amazing industry we work in.

Headquartered in Washington, DC, we are the “Unifying Voice for Advertising.” The AAF has more than 200 local clubs across the U.S. representing nearly 40,000 advertising professionals, connecting and leading the industry. We’re excited to help more than 5,000 college chapter members kickstart their careers with a 200+ college chapter network and an array of student programs. We have nearly 100 corporate members who are loyal and supportive of our ongoing efforts.

Each year, the AAF hosts numerous programs and initiatives, including the Advertising Hall of Fame, the American Advertising Awards, the National Student Advertising Competition, the Mosaic Center on Multiculturalism and summer Ad Camps for high school students. We appreciate our members’ continued loyalty and industry’s engagement and enthusiasm surrounding our events—and we look forward to seeing you at our next one.

 

The AAF Mission

The American Advertising Federation protects and promotes the well being of advertising. We accomplish this through a unique, nationally coordinated grassroots network of advertisers, agencies, media companies, local advertising clubs and college chapters.

 

The AAF

  • Brings members together to deliver creative business solutions
  • Keeps members abreast of the latest trends in technology, creativity and marketing
  • Promotes diversity and inclusion in advertising
  • Honors and celebrates advertising excellence
  • Develops the industry’s future leaders
  • Protects and promotes advertising at all levels of government through grassroots activities
  • Offers engaging programs to encourage local association volunteer leadership
  • Utilizes industry expertise to address community issues
  • Provides opportunities for professionals to build supportive relationships with others in the advertising industry

 

AAF Committees

The AAF is honored to work with committees comprised of esteemed industry leaders that represent nearly 100 companies, agencies and brands that lead the advertising industry. These committees work closely with the AAF to develop and promote various programs and initiatives, including the Advertising Hall of Fame, Advertising Hall of Achievement, American Advertising Awards, Mosaic Council and more.

 

Awards

The AAF takes pride in celebrating our industry and the outstanding professionals in it. From college students to advertising legends and outlandish creatives to brilliant media buyers, we proudly honor all of them through our advertising awards.

Our Efforts

The AAF is continually working to improve and better the industry we love. That’s why we provide our members with the tools and resources they need to empower themselves. And that’s why we work tirelessly with advertisers by advocating in Washington, DC, setting ethical standards, providing professional development opportunities, promoting diversity and inclusion and so much more.

What is AAF? A look at District 7

AAF District 7 of the American Advertising Federation (AAF) represents 20 affiliate advertising clubs and federations of the AAF across five states including: Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee.

AAF District 7 is a nonprofit, volunteer-based organization that is committed to serving the communities in which it resides in. AAF District 7 focuses on various initiatives throughout the year, including:

  1. Advertising Education: Scholarships and the National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC)—District 7 launched this initiative!
  2. Diversity & Multicultural Initiatives: Scholarships as well as education and awareness initiatives supporting multicultural diversity and inclusion.
  3. Government Relations: Legislative advocacy, awareness and education on several advertising hot topics.
  4. Professional Development: Enriching educational programs are held at all District conferences.
  5. Public Service: Community service projects and drives are hosted within District 7.
  6. Awards: Professional, student and AAF member-focused awards.

Our Mission

The mission of AAF District 7 is to strengthen local AAF affiliate organizations (clubs, federations and college chapter members) through leadership training, education, communication, idea forums, enrichment, and recognition programs; promote advertising industry standards; encourage professional development; enhance and encourage business opportunities for professional and student members; defend the advertising industry against adverse governmental action; and act as a liaison between national AAF and local chapters to ensure the vitality of the advertising profession.

The AAF District 7 Board of Directors is made up of all local Club presidents, Regional Directors and the Executive Committee (EC). The EC is in place to lead and guide the District during the current year and into the future.

Event Wrap-Up: Web Accessibility with Andy Didyk

Thank you so much to Ntara and Andy Didyk for leading our April lunch. Andy’s session communicated what makes a website accessible, why that’s important, and how accessibility is becoming so commonplace, it will soon be the norm in website design.

Organizations now have a corporate social responsibility to create and sustain an accessible digital brand experience, yet many are lagging behind. But in 2015, 70% of websites did not meet basic accessibility standards. Furthermore,

  • 22.9 million Americans are blind or visually impaired.
  • At least 7.6 million Americans with a hearing impairment are active online.
  • In the next 30 years, the number of consumers who are blind or visually impaired will double.

See a full video and transcript of his presentation on the Ntara blog: Accessibility First is the New Mobile First

His full presentation is available for download on Slideshare.

Want to connect with Andy? Check out his profile on LinkedIn.

Event Wrap-Up: LinkedIn with Cindy Hagemann

We want to extend a big “Thank You!” to Cindy Hagemann for leading this event. Take a look at her tips for optimizing your LinkedIn profile.

Tip: Turn off your notifications to your connections: Profile photo icon at top of profile page = Settings & Privacy = Privacy = Sharing Profile Edits (change to NO)

 

Tip: Create 5 -10 key words to use in your profile for SEO that can include: skills; industry-related terms; education; training; certifications; computer platforms; etc.

 

New for LinkedIn in 2017

  • LinkedIn is now using a combination of human editors and new algorithms
  • You will see more content and fewer status updates (Tip: Sort news feed to Recent vs. Top to see more content)
  • Your homepage feed now suggests organic, sponsored, and native advertising content that they YOU users might be interested in reading
  • The feed will also help users follow trending stories … similar to Facebook

 

Headline

  • Header/Cover Photo – 1584 wide by 396 high or 1000 x 425 pixels
  • Profile Photo – 400 x 400 pixels

Headline Includes: Name, Title (High SEO) -120 characters max, Location, Education (Tip: Put all of this in manually instead of allowing it to populate as you complete the sections)

 

Summary (Key Words)

  • 2,000 characters max
  • Tell your professional story
  • 2,000 characters max
  • Use key words
  • 2-3 paragraphs
  • Write it in Word, format with bullets (if you want), run spell/grammar check, then copy/paste in to LinkedIn
  • Summary Section is not completely visible to your Connections without opening it up by clicking on it – Tip: make your first two sentences interesting enough to “click”
  • Analytics available right on your page with a Dashboard that is private to you
  • Follow your Activity and the Activity of your Connections

 

Contact Info

  • Customize URL – make it your name
  • Email – add
  • Phone (optional) – add when looking for a job or use company phone after you have a job or cell, if comfortable doing so

 

Experience (Key Words)

  • Title – 100 characters max
  • Company – link to the company’s LinkedIn page for logo to display
  • Description – add what you do at the company using 1,000 characters max

 

Skills & Endorsements (Key Words)

  • Up to 50 key words can be used
  • High SEO for the skill that are endorsed by your connections
  • Move important skills to the top of your list
  • Endorse connections for their skills

 

Publishing Interface (Bloggers apply here)

  • Writers with original content have a wonderful opportunity to post their content LinkedIn with one click.
  • Analytics are available for each post to the writer
  • SEO for the LinkedIn Publishing platform

 

Join Groups

  • Types of Groups: Alumni, Industry related, networking, job searching
  • Search for Groups to join
  • Join up to 50 Groups
  • Share articles, events, promotions in Groups

 

Additional Analytics

  • In addition to the usual analytics that we are used to Who Viewed Your Profile or Users Who Liked Your Post – LinkedIn now provides more analytics about how other users interact with the content you share.
  • Now, users can see not only who likes their content, but which companies they come from and what roles they’re in.
  • Also, suggests articles that I might want to share with my connections for more engagement.

 

Search Capabilities

Now when using the Search Bar – users have can choose:

  • Search – All
  • Search – People
  • Search – Jobs
  • Search – Content
  • Search – Companies
  • Search – Groups
  • Search – Schools

These search options allow the users to narrow down their search field or to be a broader search by using the All option.

 

Connect with Cindy on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/cindyhagemann

Need any LinkedIn Assistance? Cindy Hagemann crhagemann@gmail.com Cell: 252-455-0298

 

Tax Reform: Draft Letter Against Advertising Tax

Please use this draft letter for advocating no change to the tax treatment of advertising in the proposed tax reform bill. This letter uses text from letters signed by House and Senate members (sent to both the House Speaker and the Senate Majority and Minority leaders) and copy to make it more appropriate from a business owner’s perspective.

Dear _____________________,

The 115 th Congress holds the promise of streamlining the corporate tax code in order to achieve lower rates for America’s businesses and eliminate tax loopholes and special preferences. We vigorously support these efforts to boost job creation, grow wages and strengthen the economy. The potential
for strengthening the economy would be jeopardized by any proposal that imposes an advertising tax on our nation’s manufacturing, retail and service industries.

In our system we tax profits. By definition, a profit is the difference between revenue and costs. Advertising, as a reoccurring cost of doing business, is and should remain to be, accorded the same treatment as all other regularly occurring business expenses, such as employee wages, rent and
utilities. Any measure that would tax advertising, and therefore make it more expensive, cannot be justified as a matter of tax or economic policy.

America relies on advertising to inform potential customers, generate sales and support workers across our nation. A study by the economic consulting firm IHS Economics and Country Risk found that in 2014, advertising supported 20 million U.S. jobs and $5.8 trillion in U. S. sales. Significantly, the
study showed that every dollar of advertising spending generates $19 million of economic activity, and that advertising contributes to 19 percent of the nation’s GDP. Advertising is also responsible for supporting the high-quality news, information and entertainment that is a cornerstone of our democracy and upon which every American relies.

Let there be no doubt that any change to the current tax treatment of advertising as a deductible and immediate business expense, will negatively and significantly impact businesses across the nation and will have long term damaging effects on millions of U.S. workers and consumers.

Thank you for your efforts in considering the challenges of fixing our country’s tax code and strengthening America’s ability to compete economically around the globe. I ask that any changes in our tax system be meaningful, economically sound, and do not threaten the impacts of advertising jobs and the economy.

Respectfully,
Name
Business
Address

AAF Alert – Tax Reform Update

Clark Rector, Jr., Executive Vice President of Government Affairs

AAF Alert – Tax Reform Update

House Republicans have released their comprehensive tax reform plan, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The bill as introduced did not include any limitations on the deduction for advertising expenses. While this is very good news for consumers and the advertising industry, the threat is not over.

The House Ways and Means Committee will mark up the bill during the week of November 6. During that process any member of the committee could introduce an amendment to limit the advertising deduction in order to raise money for other purposes. We have no indication at this time that any member is planning on doing so.

The Senate Finance Committee is writing its own version of tax reform and scheduled to release it soon. Because this committee is writing its own bill, the advertising deduction is at risk here also.

bi-partisan letter defending the advertising deduction has been sent to the Republican and Democratic leaders of the Senate and the Finance Committee. The letter was authored by Senators John Boozman, R-Ark. and Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisc. and signed by thirteen of their colleagues. The letter is similar to the Engel-Yoder letter sent last spring to House and Ways and Means Committee leaders signed by 241 members of the House of Representatives.

AAF’s grassroots efforts are working. Many members of the House and Ways and Means Committee cited the strong response from the advertising industry in their home districts as part of the reason advertising maintained its full deduction in the reform proposal.

The advertising industry must stay vigilant. I urge all AAF members to contact theirSenators and urge them to oppose any effort to limit the full deduction for advertising expenses. If your Senator or Representative signed either the Boozman-Baldwin orEngel-Yoder letters I encourage you to contact their offices and thank them for supporting the advertising industry. These elected officials took a stand on our industry’s behalf and their support should be acknowledged.

Thank you to everyone who has already contacted their Senators and Representatives. Please circulate this alert to other members of your company and/or local advertising federation. Keep up the good work and do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or comments.
.


The AAF Government Report is available to all members of the AAF. If you are interested in receiving an emailed copy, please email government@aaf.org.

If you are interested in receiving the AAF SmartBrief, an opt-in news service, please visit www.smartbrief.com/aaf. The AAF SmartBrief condenses advertising industry news from dozens of media sources into a succinct, easy to read email.

Go to the AAF’s Advocacy webpage.

Government Relations: Advertising Deductibility

AAF Colleague:

Thank you to everyone who contacted their Representatives and Senators after my previous alert on tax reform. I am writing to once again ask for your help.

Senators John Boozman, R-Ark. and Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisc. have co-authored a bipartisan letter to the Senate leaders urging them to maintain the tax treatment of advertising as a normal and necessary business expense fully deductible in the year it is incurred. The text of the letter is below. It is similar to the Engle-Yoder letter sent to House leadership last fall and signed by 124 members of the House of Representatives.

Senators Baldwin and Boozman are soliciting signatures from other Senators for the letter. Please contact your Senators and ask them to sign the Boozman-Baldwin letter on advertising deductibility. Let them know it is important to you and your business that the tax treatment of advertising remain unchanged. The more signatures on the letter, the stronger our position will be in the Senate. Contact information for all Senators can be found here.

I would appreciate hearing of any responses you get from either of your Senators. Please let me know if you have any questions or comments, and thank you for your continued help on this important issue.

Sincerely,

Clark Rector
Executive Vice President-Government Affairs
American Advertising Federation
crector@aaf.org
202-898-0089
Follow me on Twitter @ClarkRector1

Text of the Boozman-Baldwin letter:

Dear Leaders McConnell and Schumer:

This Congress, we have the opportunity to enact much-needed, meaningful tax reform. As we work with you on these efforts to bolster economic growth, close loopholes, and raise the incomes of working Americans, we respectfully request that you maintain the current tax treatment of advertising as a fully and immediately deductible business expense.

For the life of the tax code, advertising has been treated the same as all other regularly occurring business expenses, such as employee wages, rent, utilities, and office supplies. Any measure that would tax advertising – and therefore make it more expensive – cannot be justified as a matter of tax or economic policy. Moreover, such a proposal would run counter to a major goal of tax reform we can all agree on – simplifying the tax code.

Businesses across the country rely on advertising and promotional products to inform potential customers, generate sales, and support workers across our nation. According to a 2014 study by IHS Economics and Country Risk, advertising supports 20 million U.S. jobs and $5.8 trillion in U.S. activity. That advertising contributes to 19 percent of our nation’s GDP and is responsible for supporting the high-quality news and information we all rely on.

As the Senate continues to work towards tax reform, we ask that you continue to support local businesses and recognize the importance of advertising on jobs and the economy.

Event Wrap-Up: Morgan Richards of Cox Automotive

We were privileged to have Morgan Richards, Senior Manager of Research at Cox Automotive join us for our club luncheon on September 21. Cox Automotive holds more than 20 companies, the two most recognizable of which are Kelly Blue Book and AutoTrader, the group’s only consumer-facing organizations. Cox Automotive primarily provides services and solutions to the auto industry, with around 90% of their business serving automotive dealerships.

Morgan led AAF NETN through a stripped-down, layperson’s version of what can quickly become a data-heavy quagmire. As with most sectors of the marketing world, digital research and data capabilities are turning the car-buying process on its head.

In research done by Cox Automotive,  only 17 out of 4,002 respondents indicated that they were satisfied with the current process for buying a car. Time spent at the dealership was one of the biggest pain points in the process, with satisfaction declining sharply after shoppers had spent more than 90 minutes at a dealership. To add to the misery, nearly 50% of the time spent at the dealership is spent on the most unpleasant parts of the process: financing and paperwork.

So is the answer online car shopping? Cox found that even in the brave new world of 2017, only 21% of respondents were ready for click-to-buy car shopping. But, 87% said they were willing to move some part of the process online.

Morgan highlighted three companies that Cox serves who are taking a different approach:

  • Tesla: The process for buying Elon Musk’s electric automobiles is very different. Tesla’s model is direct-to-consumer, eschewing dealerships for ‘experiential stores’  in the vein of Apple stores. Customers can get hands-on experience with the car at these stores and, with Tesla’s fixed pricing model, know exactly what they’ll pay.
  • CarVana: With car vending machines—yes, you read that correctly—in Atlanta, Houston, and Nashville, Carvana takes shopping for used cars fully online. Customers pick out their car online, finance and sign papers online, and can choose to have their car delivered or visit one of the vending machines, and watch their new car come down the lift.
  • Tred: Tred found a niche in the peer-to-peer car buying space. From their base in the Pacific Northwest, Tred is taking out the middle men (aka: dealerships) and easing the pain of buying and selling your car your way.
One of the most exciting developments Morgan presented, was the rapid evolution of autonomous vehicles. Ranging from your dad’s old ’73 Nova all the way to fully self-driving cars that don’t need no stinking humans, cars fall along a five-point spectrum of autonomy. And, Cox has found that assuming those fully self-sufficient, self-driving cars are available, by 2020, 59% of consumers would consider stepping up the level of autonomy in their car.

Cox also estimates that by 2034, the balance of miles driven by individual car owners versus miles driven by fleet cars will shift in favor of fleet cars. More autonomy means more efficient routes, more cost-effective ride-share models, and fewer people owning their own cars!

The future of the car buying process is evolving to eliminate the worst parts of the process, put power back in the hands of individual consumers, and use the burgeoning tech of autonomous vehicles to get us where we need to go.

Our thanks to Morgan Richards and Cox Automotive for sharing this fantastic presentation with us!