As Award Season Opens, ADDYs Assume New Identity


As retailers gear up for the holiday season, America’s advertisers, agencies, suppliers and local advertising clubs are preparing for their industry’s biggest “holiday” – its largest advertising competition.

This year, that competition sports a new name.

The ADDY® Awards competition, in which more than 40,000 entries compete at three different levels, is now the American Advertising Awards, and calls for entries from most local clubs will be going out within the next few weeks.

The new identity is more than just a name change, according to American Advertising Federation President and CEO James Edmund Datri.

“The Awards began as a local program,” Datri says, “and one of its great strengths has always been that it offers a competition at the level of the local market. It’s the only major awards program that offers recognition for the best work in hundreds of small- and mid-sized markets.

“But as the competition has grown, the marketplace has become a more global one. And the ‘local’ feel of the competition has overshadowed the fact that it’s the largest – and we believe the toughest – competition of its kind.

“This is a celebration of the best of the best in American advertising, at every level, and the competition’s leadership felt it was important that the brand better reflect that.”

“At the same time, it’s important that local clubs be able to maintain the traditional value of the ADDYs, which became a nationwide competition in 1968. We hope that each club will still refer to the award itself as the ADDY award,” Datri says.

Work is entered in the American Advertising Awards through one of the AAF’s network of more than 170 local advertising federations. At the local level, it is judged in more than 70 categories with the best work in that market. “In many markets,” Datri says, “the awards gala is the local club’s biggest night of the year.”

Local winners advance to one of 15 district competitions. District winners then advance to the national competition, whose winners are announced each summer at AAF’s National Conference, ADMERICA!

The three-level competition is unique to the American Advertising Awards, as is its inclusion of students. “Our student competition really mirrors the professional competition,” Datri says. “Other major competitions have a stripped-down version, or limit the students to a predetermined case. The American Advertising Awards offers students much more opportunity.” Last year the competition saw nearly 6,000 student entries.

The competition is open to both members and non-members of local AAF clubs. For entry details, contact the AAF club in your region, or visit

About the American Advertising Federation

The American Advertising Federation (AAF), the nation’s oldest national advertising trade association, and the only association representing all facets of the advertising industry, is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and acts as the "Unifying Voice for Advertising." The AAF also has 15 district operations, each located in and representing a different region of the nation. The AAF’s membership is comprised of nearly 100 blue chip corporate members comprising the nation’s leading advertisers, advertising agencies, and media companies; a national network of nearly 200 local federations, representing 40,000 advertising professionals, located in ad communities across the country; and more than 225 AAF college chapters, with over 7,500 student members. The AAF operates a host of 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. For more information on the full range of AAF programming, please visit