April 11, 2008

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AAF, Professional Partnering Solutions Engage Multicultural Vendors and Agencies to Address Supplier Diversity in Advertising at 2008 Mosaic Vendor Fair


WASHINGTON, D.C.—The American Advertising Federation (AAF) recently held its second annual Mosaic Vendor Fair in connection with Professional Partnering Solutions Inc. at the New York Athletic Club. The goal of the Mosaic Vendor Fair is to attract diverse vendors whose goods and services meet the needs of advertisers and marketing, media and communications companies and their clients.

"I commend the companies and agencies who participated in this year's Mosaic Vendor Fair and contributed to its success," said Wally Snyder, AAF president and CEO. "This event is a progressive initiative for not only the enrichment of diversity in advertising but also for minority business development. It is a necessity that companies continue to engage in these valuable interactive opportunities."

At this year's event, preidentified vendors were matched with agencies to participate in 15-minue matchmaking sessions where vendors had the opportunity to present their capabilities in a private setting. Two workshops addressing some of the most challenging issues faced by the industry were presented: "How to do Business With Advertising Agencies," and "The Business Case for Supplier Diversity in Advertising," each of which featured advertising executives. The event concluded with a networking reception and vendor fair designed to encourage partnerships between industry organizations and diverse vendors.

This year's fair welcomed 250 participants representing sponsors, panelists, exhibitors, vendors and corporations/agencies. Sponsors of the event were Saatchi & Saatchi; the Interpublic Group; BBDO; Direct Market Designs; Draftfcb; GSD&M Idea City; Progressive Promotions; Starcom MediaVest Group; and Young & Rubicam Brands. Exhibitors included Aberson Narotzky & White; Arbitron; Arnold Worldwide; Avrett Free Ginsberg; BBDO; Campbell-Ewald; Leo Burnett; DDB; Draftfcb; McCann Erickson; Gotham; GSD&M Idea City; Professional Partnering Solutions; Saatchi & Saatchi; Starcom MediaVest Group; and Women Presidents Education Organization.

"Having an understanding of multiculturalism is in fact a business imperative for our ability to compete in the future as communications agencies in this country. Leveraging diverse staff and suppliers to help gain this understanding of the multicultural marketplace therefore is not just a 'nice to have' or a 'right thing to do,' it's a strategic business imperative for the long-term survival of our business!" said James Orsini, COO/CFO, Saatchi & Saatchi New York, who spoke at the fair.

"...Diversity makes us better at what we do and more successful as an agency," said Duff Stewart, CEO, GSD&M Idea City, who was also a panelist.

In addition to Orsini and Stewart, five panelists and two moderators were featured at the Mosaic Vendor Fair, including Amy Blais, Women Presidents Educational Organization; Shelia Hill, Chicago Minority Business Development Council; Lynda Ireland, New York & New Jersey Minority Supplier Development Council, Inc.; John Lanaway, McCann Erickson North America; Anita Laney, Professional Partnering Solutions; Diego Osuna, General Mills; and Kevin Wells, New York & New Jersey Minority Supplier Development Council.

Anita Laney, president and CEO of Professional Partnering Solutions, noted that the Mosaic Vendor Fair is the only event of its kind that brings diverse vendors together with the communications industry and, ultimately, benefits consumers.

"This event is important to the vendors because it gives them a voice and opportunity to meet with agencies," said Laney. "It's important to agencies because it gives them a pool of vendors they may not have known about. In the end, it helps the clients because the agencies can diversify their vendor pool and help to build wealth in diverse communities. This, in turn, builds stronger consumers."

For more information on the Mosaic Vendor Fair, please contact Connie Frazier at cfrazier@aaf.org or visit http://www.aaf.org/vendorfair.

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The American Advertising Federation (AAF), headquartered in Washington, D.C., acts as the "Unifying Voice for Advertising." The AAF is the oldest national advertising trade association, representing 50,000 professionals in the advertising industry. The AAF has a national network of 200 ad clubs located in ad communities across the country. Through its 215 college chapters, the AAF provides 6,500 advertising students with real-world case studies and recruitment connections to corporate America. The AAF also has 130 blue-chip corporate members that are advertisers, agencies and media companies, comprising the nation's leading brands and corporations. For more information, visit the AAF's Web site at www.aaf.org.