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Honors Night 2010 Honorees

AEF Honors Night Honorees
From l to r: James R. Heekin, Paula Alex, Bob Jeffrey, Irwin Gotlieb, Anne Sweeney, Michael Sload


John Partilla AEF Honors Night  
John Partilla, Corporate EVP & President, Global Media Sales, Clear Channel Communications, Inc.  

Hello everyone. Thank you for joining us on what is our tenth anniversary of Honor’s Night for the Advertising Educational Foundation. I’ll just give everyone a moment to gather around. I love the cocktail hour as much as everybody—no one wants to sit down. In fact, Alison Fahey said earlier, “This is my second favorite sanctioned event. It’s next to Canada gutter bar.” I said, “I’m not sure Canada gutter bar is exactly an industry sanctioned event.”

Thank you everyone for coming out tonight. As you know the Advertising Educational Foundation is a critical part of the media and advertising ecosystem. It’s the one group that really celebrates and supports the advertising industry, the marketer and client industry, and the media-owner sector of our industry. To have all these three segments of our ecosystem come together for an evening, to reconnect as busy as we are, and to talk and chat and understand how we can both help each other professionally and have a good time personally is a critical part of our organization. It’s a wonderful night to come together.

As you know, the Advertising Educational Foundation has two key missions. One is to disseminate and share content and knowledge and research about the advertising industry. And secondarily (and most importantly for all of us) it’s really to inspire the incoming generation of talent to join our industry, to understand what it’s really about so that we can grow our brands and our companies and our businesses. For that I think we’re all extraordinarily grateful. I think it’s an amazing industry we’re so lucky to be part of. In fact tonight I brought two of my children Isabelle and Jackson who are getting a little taste of the industry as well. Maybe they’ll be part of this AEF community.

Thank you all for coming. Before I announce our emcee and we begin the evening I’d like to announce the number that we’ve raised tonight and thank everyone for your support and your time. But in this extraordinarily difficult time that we’ve been having in our industry we were able to raise tonight $524,000.

That’s a result of our communities. Thank you all. It’s a result of our board. Thank you board. It’s a result of our CEO Paula Alex, so thank you Paula. We’re very lucky.

Without further ado I’d like to introduce someone who actually makes a living doing what I’m doing at this moment which is our emcee of this evening which is Cynthia McFadden of ABC. I know many of you know her and are excited to have her here this evening. Cynthia joined ABC News in 1994 as a network legal correspondent for ABC. Today she co-anchors ABC’s Nightline and Primetime. Cynthia has won numerous awards for her reporting from African and India including the HIV/AIDS pandemic; from China on the environmental costs of that country’s rapid economic growth. She’s received numerous, numerous awards including a small award called the George Foster Peabody Award which is quite extraordinary. This past February Cynthia spent time with Former President Bill Clinton exclusively on his second trip to the country since that devastation. Cynthia, we’re very grateful to have you here tonight. Thank you. And thank you everyone for coming and joining us this evening.


Cynthia McFadden AEF Honors Night  
Cynthia McFadden, Co-Anchor, NBC "Nightline" and "Primetime"  

It’s a pleasure to be here tonight and I want to begin with a confession. There was a time long, long ago before Facebook and Twitter, iPods and iPads, well before Mad Men when I looked at ads as pesky interruptions to our programs. But age has brought a certain wisdom. So let me simply say, at ABC we love ads, we love the people who make ads, and we love advertisers. In fact, at Nightline we love them much more than our late-night competitors Dave and Jay what’s their names? So if you have any ads lying around that need a nice home think of us.

Now to the business at hand. As many of you know last year 31 percent of Americans ranked journalists “low” or “very low” for honesty and ethics. Advertising executives faired even a little bit worse, 38 percent of Americans giving the field a thumbs down. But you in the advertising industry are doing something about it. This year AEF has expanded its educational programs and activities to students and professors at top colleges and universities in the US and around the world. The objective: educating top students to the role of advertising in society, culture, history, and business. As a result of the Foundation’s Speakers Program on campus, Visiting Professor Program, and its website many top students have found an attraction to a career in advertising. Not only that, I was intrigued to learn that AEF publishes a peer-reviewed academic journal, Advertising and Society Review, in addition to a twenty-chapter online curriculum. Both are distributed online worldwide by Johns Hopkins University Press, the Muse program, with total year-to-date usage of 50,000. My profession could learn a thing or two from all of you.

Which brings us to AEF’s CEO Paula Alex.


Paula Alex AEF Honors Night  
Paula Alex, CEO, AEF  

Thank you Cynthia.

Tonight we applaud the achievements of Grey Group, Colgate-Palmolive Company, and Disney/ABC Television Group, all of whom are being honored for promoting and supporting the advertising industry and the AEF mission in significant ways, and they’ve been doing this over the years. Irwin Gotlieb will receive tonight’s Lifetime Achievement Award because he is recognized as a superstar for all that he has accomplished and I’m sure there’s still more to come. Thank you everyone for your support. A special thanks to the Honor’s Night committee and Marisa Fischetti for all your help. A special thanks also to John Partilla and Clear Channel Communications for sponsoring tonight’s reception. Special thanks to Bob Jeffrey, our Chairman of tonight’s event.

And I want you to know that dinner proceeds will go to AEF programs and activities with emphasis on continued development of our educational website, aef.com. We’re very pleased, we’re very proud and I forgot one other thank you, and that is AdWeek for a very wonderful advertorial that they did on our behalf. I’m also delighted to finally tell you that this year we’ve begun a project that took us six years to actually get moving and that is our Ethnicity project with the Smithsonian. It’s an archives and exhibit, all of which will be online on aef.com. When it’s completed, it will offer a 110 year retrospective of the revolution of advertising.

So thank you all very much. Enjoy the evening.



Bob Jeffrey AEF Honors Night  
Bob Jeffrey, Chairman & CEO, JWT Worldwide  

I just want to say a few words. I actually walked in tonight with Irwin and his wife Liz. We talked to Paula a little bit about Mad Men and I asked Paula, “Do you think Mad Men is a good influence or bad influence in terms of getting people to work in the business?” And we had a bit of a debate about that, but one of the things that’s interesting to me (because I worked with Irwin for a long time) is that he is somebody that not only embraced the change that is happening in our world, he has led the change.

I think all of the success that Irwin’s had on behalf of GroupM has been because he is such a big believer in adopting that change and he’s really amazing with technology. If you want to learn about anything going on with gadgets Irwin’s the guy. But more importantly when I think about all the people I started in the business with, Irwin, you really are a renaissance man.

But more importantly, you’ve been a role model in terms of education with young people, training and development, and that’s what the AEF is all about. So it’s with great honor and pleasure that we present you with the Lifetime Achievement Award.





Irwin Gotlieb AEF Honors Night  
Irwin Gotlieb, Global CEO, GroupM Worldwide  

Thank you Bob, that was exceedingly kind. Sometimes I don’t recognize the person that they pop up on those videos. And thank you to the AEF for this honor. I really am honored and I’m humbled to be included in the company of the previous recipients of this award. I’ve been in this business 40 years. I’m also married for 40 years. It’s not a coincidence.  Once you’re married you have to go make a living.

And this is what I found. But the real recipient of this award is my wife who put up with me for 40 years.

Despite some very, very heavy scheduling, hours, travel, etc. I did take note of the fact that I am the first media agency executive to get this award. I thank the AEF particularly for recognizing the contributions that media agencies have made to advertising, to marketing, and I’m delighted to accept it on behalf of GroupM and all of our agencies.

As you just saw, this isn’t the first award I’ve received. I may be the guy who consistently gets up and accepts these awards but just because I’m collecting them doesn’t mean that they’re all mine. It’s a reflection of the work of thousands of people, many of whom have literally been by my side for decades. I wouldn’t be up here tonight if it weren’t for those people and I share this award with them.

Speaking of people, that is actually what this evening’s all about. We are a business that relies entirely on talent. We don’t have inventory. There are those who talk about technology taking the place of people. But technology is developed by people. It’s part of the talent pool. And all that the technology does is it makes our people more productive and enables them to be more influential and more executional in what they do. If it is all about people then the AEF is the organization that enables the talent in our business. It contributes to our talent pool. It contributes by providing the fundamental education that’s necessary. It inspires people to enter our business. It helps to train them. And it helps all of us in this business to retain them over time. That long-term retainment is absolutely essential to what we do. So thank you to the AEF again for that and lastly for the award.


Jim Heekin and Bob Jeffrey AEF Honors Night  
James R. Heekin, Chairman and CEO, Grey Group and Bob Jeffrey  

It’s really with a lot of pleasure that I want to honor the Grey Group and its Chairman/CEO Jim Heekin. Just a little bit of history on Grey and the AEF. Grey was actually a founding member of the AEF and has been an active board member since its earliest days. From the very beginning Grey gave its financial support and most importantly gave generously of its time and talent to many of the vital programs of the AEF. Grey has sent countless staff members from nearly every discipline to colleges far and wide as part of our Inside Advertising outreach to campuses. Especially Jim Heekin, who I think has found particular value in these exchanges and has done his fair share of speaking and listening to students and professors. Always coming back energized and committed to mentoring the next ad people.

Grey and Jim Heekin have taken a deep interest in AEF’s Visiting Professor Program, hosting a professor each summer for many years, going above and beyond to make it a truly enriching experience from focus groups, to shoots, to editing sessions to one-on-ones with all the senior people starting with the Chairman. In fact I just want to read to you what Grey’s professor from last summer wrote. He wrote, “After personal meetings with the creators of top marketing campaigns, now I can visualize the complex creative process and best of all share it with my students. Grey’s intensive program allowed me to catch up with the last ten years of the industry and helped me predict the next ten years.”

Furthermore, Jim comes from a proud advertising family. His dad was President of Doyle, Dane, Bernbach (DDB) and Ogilvy and actually his son is a Creative Director here in New York. Jim has made a mark in our industry serving with distinction as CEO of Euro RSCG, McCann World Group, and McCann Erickson after leaving JWT New York where he gave many of today’s leaders their starts. Grey’s efforts on behalf of the AEF, like the agency itself, I think have taken on a new level of creativity and dynamism under Jim Heekin’s leadership and it’s been a pleasure to watch their unfolding success. As a proud fellow WPP colleague, I’m delighted to welcome Jim Heekin up to receive this year’s well-deserved AEF 2010 Agency Award.


Jim Heekin AEF Honors Night  
Jim Heekin  

So thank you Bob. And congratulations to you for chairing this terrific dinner and making it such a success.

It is a privilege for Grey Group to receive the 2010 Agency Award and I accept it on behalf of all of them with great pleasure and pride. I want to express my sincere thanks to Paula Alex, AEF’s indomitable CEO as I’ve discovered; to John Partilla, Chairman of the AEF board, who I’ve tried to hire for 25 years, and I’m still working on it, John; and all of its distinguished members which really if you look at this room it reads like a whose-who of the advertising business. It’s fun for me, actually, after some 35 years in the business. I’ve worked with so many people in this room it’s not even funny and it’s actually fun to see all of you and to tell cynical stories about you and make fun of you and do all of the things that advertising people do when they get together; and to everyone at Grey, who for so many years have strongly believed in the AEF and its mission and have given of themselves to its success; and especially to the group that’s here with me tonight who is a special team who are in the process of doing something really special in our industry.

I know I’m preaching to the converted with this crowd but I wanted to talk for just a minute about the AEF and how vital it is to the future of our business. At a time of dramatic change in communications, when our profession is still so misunderstood, yes, 25 year olds still have to explain to their parents what the hell they’re doing in advertising and frankly many would say the business is undervalued. The AEF plays, I think, a unique role in our industry. It’s mission may sound a little lofty to be the premier spokesperson for the role of advertising in society, culture, history, and the economy but thanks to Paula and the board it has its feet firmly planted on the grounds serving as a critical bridge to the academic and business community and society at large, connecting us to the wider world to make clear the value we deliver and frankly the stimulating, creative nature of what we actually do everyday.

The AEF is at the center of all the issues that we as an industry care about. Whether it’s introducing advertising to new generation of students as a valuable, attainable career, equipping them with relevant, state-of-the-art educational to compete in the real world, promoting dialogue with educators, and encouraging serious academic study or launching concrete initiatives to further diversity, the AEF is a real treasure and a catalyst for excellence for positive change to help the industry we all love reach its full potential.

So thank you very much for this honor from all of us at Grey Group.


Scott Sassa and Anne Sweeney  
Scott Sassa, President, Hearst Entertainment and Syndication and SVP, Hearst Corporation and Anne Sweeney  

First I want to recognize Irwin Gotlieb, the Grey Group, and Colgate-Palmolive on their awards tonight. They have been long-time friends and valued business partners of the Hearst Corporation and we congratulate you on those awards.

So Modern Family, Diane Sawyer, All My Children, your local news, Hannah Montana, Dancing with the Stars, Good Morning America, Cynthia McFadden. In some way I’m sure the Disney/ABC Television Group is part of each of our lives. The Group of course is home to the ABC Television Network, Kid’s Power House, the Disney channels around the world, ABC Family and Soap Net, Radio Disney, Hyperion Books, and A&E, History, and Lifetime. With so many touch points in our lives and culture, it makes perfect sense that the Disney/ABC Television Group would have such a long and established history of supporting the AEF. The Group has supported the AEF since the start when its predecessors ABC and Capital Cities both became members in 1984. The Disney/ABC Television Group continues to support today to allow the AEF programs and activities to flourish and grow around the world.

Hearst has had the pleasure of receiving this award last year but that’s not the only reason why I’m here. The Hearst-Disney relationship runs much deeper than that. Hearst is the biggest ABC affiliate with thirteen stations; we are partnered with ABC and ESPN, A&E, History, and Lifetime, and that venture dates back to 1970 when Frank Bennack and Leonard Goldenstein put that venture together. I’ve had the pleasure of growing up in the cable business with Anne Sweeney who is Co-Chair of the Disney Media Networks and she’s also President of Disney/ABC Television Group. I’m proud to be able to call her a friend for over 20 years. And I must admit one of the big upside surprises of being at Hearst is getting to see Anne more often as we both share duties as co-chairs of A&E/Lifetime networks. So it’s my professional and personal privilege to present the Media Award to Anne who will accept on behalf of everyone at ABC and Disney.


Anne Sweeney AEF Honors Night  
Anne Sweeney, Co-Chair, Disney Media Networks & President, Disney/ABC Television Group  

Thank you so much Scott. And thank you AEF. It’s an honor for our company to share the stage tonight with Irwin Gotlieb, with James Heekin, Michael Sload, and of course, the wonderful Cynthia McFadden.  

Television and advertising are truly a packaged deal and have been since the beginning of the medium. When the Disney/ABC Television Group became the first to combine television content and new platforms we knew that our advertising partners would have to play an important role in the digital future. Just in case we weren’t aware of that, our advertisers pointed that out very quickly to us. We were thrilled that they wanted to come with us to explore these new media frontiers. We continue to rely on their partnerships as we all navigate the way forward and we create opportunities that deliver the greatest value to everyone involved, especially our consumers. In this rapidly changing digital era we need each other more than ever. We need each other to be strong, to be innovative, and above all, to be relevant. We’re doing our part by continuing to invest in high quality content that resonates with viewers and draws them to our networks and all of our other platforms by the millions. It’s exciting to watch how together we’re starting to leverage the powerful potential of television and digital platforms to reach consumers in new ways.

One of the AEF’s most important missions is taking real world advertising experience into the classroom as the industry evolves with us in the digital age, working with colleges, university professors, and different communication programs so that students are prepared for the evolution of advertising as it unfolds. Despite all of the challenges associated with the huge changes going on in the media right now, or maybe because of it, this is the best time to be in television and advertising. It’s a really exciting time. Thanks to AEF we can be sure that the innovation will continue in the next generation of advertisers and beyond.

I’d like to thank AEF for their work and for this honor. I’d like to thank our wonderful team from the Disney/ABC Television Group. And I proudly accept this award on their behalf.


Ed Ney and Michael Sload  
Ed Ney, Chairman Emeritus, Young & Rubicam Advertising and Michael Sload, VP, Marketing, Colgate U.S.  

I’m very honored to be here tonight. I haven’t been for some time for various reasons and I see more guts, spun, etc. in this room than I’d ever seen before.

In the spring of 1984 Jock Elliott of Ogilvy & Mather and such a great man, we visited Reuben Mark, the CEO of Colgate. We were on a mission at this newly established organization to get funding so that AEF could establish its programs and motivate our staff to build a whole understanding of advertising’s contribution to our society and economy. The Advertising Educational Foundation, the AEF, is very impressive and we were very taken by the Visiting Professor Program (VPP) that you have initiated. Along with that, they gave us a check for $125,000 which was great.

A great organization.

One endeavor that has been of particular interest at Colgate, for which they have been a supporter, is the AEF’s Race & Ethnicity project with the Smithsonian. Yes, the Smithsonian. Colgate is that kind of a company and has been over so many years. I’ve had the great thing of working with Reuben Mark, a person who has put Colgate back in its great place, and what they’re doing is helping organizations exactly as we are. It’s been a great supporter of the AEF and its mission over the years. It’s a great pleasure that this year’s Advertiser Award recipient is the Colgate-Palmolive Company. I keep wondering what’s going to happen to Palmolive one of these days. Michael Sload, Colgate’s Vice President of Marketing for the US, is accepting on behalf of Colgate.


Michael Sload AEF Honors Night  
Michael Sload  

Thank you Ed. It’s a true honor to be introduced by you. Good evening to everybody.

I’d like to begin by recognizing my colleague at Colgate, Sheila Hopkins, and all the other AEF Board Members for their outstanding leadership. I also thank all of you who joined us tonight to celebrate this great organization. I’m grateful for the opportunity to accept this award on behalf of Colgate-Palmolive people around the world. And by Colgate people, I include our partners at Y&R and MEC, and of course, Irwin and GroupM. We’ve worked together for 26 years, with Siboney, our Hispanic agency for 27 years, and UniWorld for 14 years. So we consider them to be Colgate people, too, bringing new ideas and a passion for our brands that help build our business. It’s been a true two-way partnership and in fact, we’ve never disagreed on a single storyboard or media plan in those 93 years.

We’re committed to these wonderful partnerships as well as the partnership we’ve established with the AEF. Back in 1984, as Ed mentioned, Colgate was fortunate to be among the first to create this foundation and we remain committed to its mission. We thank the AEF for enriching the understanding of the role of advertising in our society. Colgate’s proud to be a key sponsor of Race, Ethnicity, & Advertising in America, a unique online archive AEF is developing with the Smithsonian. We also commend AEF’s efforts to develop and attract talent to the advertising industry. At the start, it was the Visiting Professor Program that Colgate initially embraced that Ed talked about. This program is going to become an important contributor to strengthen advertising education and the pipeline of talent entering the industry.

So on behalf of Colgate, we thank you for this recognition and for the chance to express our appreciation to the AEF for the important role it plays in the advertising world. Thank you.

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Photo credit: Maryanne Russell Photography


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