71st Annual Advertising Hall of Fame Postponed Once Again Due to Global Pandemic

Nina DiSesa, McCann; Richard Edelman, Edelman; Judy McGrath, MTV Networks; Wenda Harris Millard, MediaLink; J. Melvin Muse, Muse Communications; Andrew Robertson, BBDO Worldwide; Michael I. Roth, The Interpublic Group; Annie Leibovitz, portrait photographer; IBM elected into the Hall of Fame’s 71st Class.

—The American Advertising Federation (AAF), host of the annual gala dinner and award ceremonies, regretfully announces the event originally scheduled for Tuesday, April 28, 2020, then postponed to October 5, is postponed again and will now be held on Tuesday, April 27, 2021. Due to the current pandemic and restrictions placed on large social gatherings, the AAF made the difficult decision to reschedule the event to ensure the safety and well-being of all attendees, the honorees, and supporters. This will be the first time in the ceremony’s 70 year history that it will be postponed.  

“We had to make another tough decision to, once again, reschedule our Advertising Hall of Fame Gala due to the global pandemic and current public health mandates in place,” said Steve Pacheco, President and CEO of the AAF. ” We opted to reschedule rather than go virtual with this signature AAF event because we want to have a gala that is befitting of this great honor and allows us to properly celebrate this outstanding class of inductees.”

This year’s eight individual honorees are: Nina DiSesa, Former Chairman and Chief Creative Officer, McCann; Richard Edelman, CEO, Edelman; Judy McGrath, Former Chairman and CEO, MTV Networks; J. Melvin Muse, Founder and Chairman Emeritus, Muse Communications; Andrew Robertson, President and CEO, BBDO Worldwide; Michael I. Roth, Chairman and CEO, The Interpublic Group. Wenda Harris Millard, Vice Chairman, MediaLink, will also be presented with the distinguished David Bell Award for Industry Service. Annie Leibovitz, renowned photographer, will be awarded the prestigious President’s Award for Lifetime Contributions to Advertising. IBM will also be inducted as part of the Class of 2021’s corporate honoree.

“Safety is and always will be our top priority,” said Chair of the Advertising Hall of Fame and FCB Worldwide CEO Carter Murray. “While this was a very difficult decision, it is incredibly important that we do the right thing for everyone involved, including the inductees who have done so much for our business.”

The Advertising Hall of Fame, established and executed by the AAF since 1949, is critical to sustain its many initiatives throughout the year surrounding education, diversity, grassroots advocacy, industry ethics and professional development. Induction into the Hall of Fame celebrates the most accomplished and legendary figures in advertising, whose career spans a minimum of 35 years in the industry. From their significant professional contributions to their personal philanthropic involvement, this year’s honorees have set the precedent by which great leaders and accomplishments are measured today. 

The Hall of Fame ceremony is the biggest night of the year for the industry, bringing together nearly 1,000 of the nation’s top leaders of American advertising, marketing and media companies. The 71st Annual Advertising Hall of Fame Induction Ceremonies & Gala Dinner will be held on April 27, 2021, at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City.

For more information on tickets, partnerships and advertising opportunities, visit or contact Beatrice Santacroce at [email protected]