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Honors Night 2001

Honors Night Chair
Wenda Harris Millard
President, Ziff Davis Internet

Tonight, we applaud the achievements of three very deserving organizations: American Airlines, The New York Times Company, and True North Communications. These three distinguished companies are all important members of the advertising community.

The overwhelming success of this evening's event is a tribute to the respect and admiration we all share for these awardees, and for the important work of the AEF.

I'm proud to welcome our three distinguished representatives from each of the foundation's constituencies; from True North Communications, Agency Awardee David Bell… from American Airlines, Advertiser Awardee Mike Gunn… and from The New York Times Company, Media Awardee Janet Robinson. Through their collective accomplishments, these companies, and the individuals who are accepting these awards on their behalf, have all promoted and supported the advertising industry.

Outstanding companies like those we honor tonight are an invaluable resource for the advertising community.

Agency Awardee
True North Communications

David Bell, Chairman & CEO

I stand here humbled and proud of this recognition and honor… humbled because anything I have done only attempts to follow the huge footsteps of those who have gone before …giants like Gene Kummel, Al Seaman, Ed Ney, Bart Cummings and others…real leaders!

Giants who have left a legacy of giving back and a message for all of us that giving back keeps our industry unique and strong. Incidentally, these are men who were leaders/founders of the AEF.

During the day they competed against each other with extraordinary fierceness but by night they worked together to give back and to make this business a better place.

…And it is that legacy that makes me proud…proud of this business that, unlike many others, does give back - in our work with the ad council, scholarships for minorities, self-regulation and major contributions to literally hundreds of pro bono efforts, to name just a few.

This is an industry that gives back.

…And this award, and indeed the AEF's existence - (imagine if you will leaders of the industry raising over $10 million in funds to educate others about advertising.) Yes, this organization's existence is testimony to their giving back.

In accepting this honor, I only hope that in some small way, together, we will ignite others to follow in the footsteps of those giants who taught us the way long before.

Thank you.

Left to Right: David Bell, Donna Hanover, Wenda Harris Millard, Paula Alex

Advertiser Awardee
American Airlines

Michael W. Gunn
Executive Vice President,
Marketing and Planning

I'm deeply honored to be here to accept this award on behalf of American Airlines and our partners at Temerlin McClain, Liener Temerlin and Dennis McClain. This evening is important to me, not because of what we as marketers and advertisers have done. But for what we can do.

At American Airlines, we like to think that advertising represents a promise - an inherent truth about the product that customers can acknowledge and trust to always be there. And out of that promise - that truth - can come brand loyalty that, if nurtured, will last a lifetime. After all, this is what makes people feel good about what they buy. And they will … if they feel they're not just buying a product, they're buying a promise.

Big difference.

That's why we, as advertisers and marketers, must do more that just hold a mirror up to our products. We must create an image - a brand image of what our promise means. Consider this:

When you hear "Waaa-sssuuup?" Are you having a beer or bonding with a friend?

Big difference.

Is it a loud, out-of-tune motorcycle … or a Harley?

Big difference.

Are you catching a plane … or pursuing a business opportunity?
Are you catching a plane … or setting off on vacation?

What I'm saying is, we have a powerful influence on the way people see things … see others … and in some cases, see themselves. Especially younger people. Because by design, people derive an image of themselves and others from our work, from our promise. So we must never forget the responsibility we hold. And how important it is to guide those following in our own footsteps.

This is why the work of the Advertising Educational Foundation is so important to our advertising and marketing community. By supporting advertising education and cultivating the best and brightest from our colleges and universities, we're ensuring the future quality of advertising and marketing. And … the responsibility of our industry.

So if I were to "brand" the AEF … I would position it as … not just another ad organization, but as professionals working together to make sure our industry keeps its promise to be responsible.

So thank you, AEF, for the promise. And thank you - on behalf on American Airlines and my partners at Temerlin McClain - for this award.

Left to Right: Mike Gunn, Donna Hanover, Wenda Harris Millard, Paula Alex

Media Awardee
The New York Times Company

Janet L. Robinson
President and General Manager
The New York Times
Senior Vice President,
Newspaper Operations
The New York Times Company

The New York Times Company is deeply honored to be the first recipient of the AEF media award.

All of us at the Times Company salute the AEF's educational mission. It is a mission that our company has long shared. In fact, the core purpose of the New York Times Company is to enhance society. I can think of no better way to achieve this than by ensuring that our youth receive the finest possible education.

The New York Times Company is deeply committed to education in a variety of ways, whether through our newspaper in education program, the New York Times College Scholarship Program, the New York Times Upfront Magazine for teens, or our latest creation, the College Times web site, to name but a few.

Of course, a critical component of a good education is an understanding of advertising's role as an economic engine for our society. Advertising is vital to our collective future.

This fall, as you may be aware, the New York Times celebrates its 150th anniversary. From the very beginning, advertising has been an essential part of who we are. The pages of the Times have long offered a wide marketplace for the exchange of goods and services as well as ideas. Advertising will continue to be vitally important for us as our company pursues a future that embraces all media - print, digital and broadcast.

Without advertising to provide the financial underpinnings, a free and unfettered press is simply not possible. There is another important celebration in our company's history that I would like to share with you tonight.

It was exactly thirty years ago today that the New York Times first published the Pentagon Papers. This action provoked a constitutional crisis that resulted in a landmark Supreme Court ruling, a ruling that struck down prior restraint of the press. This decision allowed the Times to continue publishing documents that exposed a pattern of deception on the part of our nation's leaders.

Those events of a generation ago continue to have deep meaning for us today, as they should to all Americans.

On behalf of the New York Times Company, our thanks to AEF for supporting education and a better understanding of advertising's important role in our society. It is a mission we are proud to support.

Left to Right: Janet Robinson, Donna Hanover, Wenda Harris Millard, Paula Alex
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