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Honors Night 2008 Honorees

2008 Honors Night Honorees
From l to r: Randy Falco, Chairman and CEO, AOL; Mark Addicks, Senior Vice President and CMO, General Mills, Inc.; Susan Gianinno, Chairman & CEO, Publicis North America, Publicis Groupe; Eugene H. Kummel, Chairman Emeritus, McCann Erickson; Paula Alex, Chief Executive Officer, AEF.


John Partilla  
John Partilla, President, Time Warner Global Media Group  

MP3 AudioEveryone welcome to the AEF Honors Night 25th Anniversary.  First of all, let’s just start by congratulating all of the very special Honors Night recipients: General Mills, Publicis Groupe, AOL and the recipient of our Lifetime Achievement Award, a very special award to Gene Kummel.

This is always such an enjoyable and meaningful night.  It’s enjoyable because AEF is unique in that it is supported by three colors of our business, which are marketers, agencies and media owners.  It’s terrific to spend the hour before dinner circulating, catching-up with everyone. 

It’s incredibly meaningful because I know many of you in the room that in every one of your business plans this year, I’m sure one of your Top 5 initiatives is the acquisition and retention of top talent.  That is so much of what the AEF is about, which is helping to educate and inform top colleges and universities about the value and role and benefits of advertising in business, in society, in culture.  We’re all obviously, very aware of the value advertising plays in all of our businesses.  For marketers, we understand the importance of building and differentiating our brands.  For media owners, we understand that advertising is the oxygen that helps provide us all with our free content to consumers.  And, if you’re an agency, obviously we know that there’s few more enjoyable and challenging ways to spend our days and our lives than to help build great brands and partnerships.

So nights like tonight help the Foundation to educate students out there about the exciting opportunities in this incredibly dynamic and changing business we’ve all had the honor and pleasure of working within.  Tonight, we have raised over a half-million dollars, so congratulations.

Without further ado, I would like to welcome the Chief Executive Officer of the AEF, and a great friend of all of ours, Miss Paula Alex.  Thank you.


Paula Alex  
Paula Alex, CEO, Advertising Educational Foundation  

Thank you all for your support of the AEF and for your presence tonight. I would also like to thank the AEF staff. We are a small group, but we are a mighty group.

Thanks, also, to Projects Plus, the Event Planners for this dinner, for your hard work.

Most importantly, thank you Gene Kummel for spearheading and guiding AEF fundraising together with industry leaders on the Board. You and your team built our foundation, which made this organization a living, breathing entity ready to do the job it set out to do.

The result of Gene's efforts plus sound investments have made possible AEF's award-winning educational video documentaries, award-winning website, a peer-reviewed online academic journal and ADText Curriculum, and programs at top colleges and universities across the country.

Al Seaman, the AEF's founder/chairman sends his very best regards and sincere thanks.

We’re celebrating our 25th Anniversary this year, and McCann Erickson has put together a little video to show you our accomplishments over the past 25 years.  Let’s take a look.

Click to view video  




Watch AEF video




Yes, we’ve come a long way from 1983.  Tonight, I want to announce that next year we are considering two new awards for Honors Night.  One will be to an academic for a book that addresses the AEF mission, and is considered by his/her colleagues to be outstanding.  There will also be a student award for advertising, marketing, liberal arts majors for a written piece about advertising's role in society, history and the economy.  We need to refine the details, but that will be for next year.

I thank you all again for being here.  Enjoy the evening.


Paula Alex  
Irving Berlin said, “The toughest thing about being a success is that you’ve got to keep on being a success.”

Tonight’s MC has made her mark as a top notch broadcast journalist since beginning her career at age 18 in Minneapolis.

Mary Alice Williams is a broadcast journalist extraordinaire
whose investigative work on foreign policy, ethics, technology and health have made her a respected authority and recognized voice for public information.  She was the first woman to win a national Emmy Award for anchoring an evening newscast during her tenure with NBC.

She anchored two unprecedented 10-hour live television specials on childbirth for the Discovery Health Channel and wrote and hosted a 3-hour PBS special Reaching Out to Heal, in the wake of the 9/ll terrorist attacks.

Within Reach, her PBS special on alcoholism and addiction and her continuing work as a PBS contributing correspondent and anchor on Religion & Ethics News weekly, have established her as a recognized commentator and reporter on broad issues of ethics and for which she received the 2001 Gracie Allen Award and in the same year the Donald McGannon Ethics in media Award.   There’s more…

From 1993 – 1999, Mary Alice was a Trustee of the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation.  She has served as Broadcast Chair for Women in Communications and Mass Media Chair for the National Council of Women.  She was also a member of the Board of trustees at Fordham University.  Today, she is a board member of the Women in Communications Foundation and an advisor to the Foundling Hospital.    Welcome, Mary Alice Williams!


Mary Alice Williams  
Mary Alice Williams, Master of Ceremonies  

Thank you Paula.

So you’re the people who promise us bright smiles, allergy-free car insurance, frisky sex lives and dry pants.  Am I giving away my demographic?  Or just my viewing habits?

I know you’re the folks who are navigating game-changing forces in communications that profoundly affect every aspect of our lives.  And while you can argue all night over which way is right to send what and with which and to whom…TIVO proof… what is constant are the ethics that underpin all responsible communications. 

Congratulations for the unique way in which you educate consumers, students of advertising and those who are plying the craft about the role of advertising in society, history, culture and the economy.   And now to celebrate the best of the best.


Ed Ney  
Ed Ney, Chairman Emeritus, Young & Rubicam  

Gene Kummel, Chairman Emeritus of McCann Erickson Worldwide, was one of the AEF's founding directors when it was established in 1983.

He spearheaded AEF fundraising and galvanized illustrious Board members and friends to help. Gene and his colleagues, all of whom ran the big ad agencies, advertiser and media companies, also successfully solicited support from the NFL and NBA.

In 1991, Gene was elected AEF's Chairman and CEO. He continued to engage the industry in the AEF Mission and, luckily for the AEF, he continued to fundraise. By 1993, when he stepped down as Chairman, he had raised over $12 million!

I know that the AEF is indebted to him and also very grateful that he believed strongly in its Mission. As a result, the funds continue to be available for the AEF to do the work it was established to do.


Click on image to play video  




Watch Gene Kummel video





Eugene H. Kummel  
Eugene H. Kummel, Chairman Emeritus, McCann Erickson  

The very first book on Advertising that I ever read was “My Life in Advertising” by Claude Hopkins, a famous copywriter.  In his book Mr. Hopkins tells about a campaign of his for Van Camp’s Beans:


I was excited!  I was hooked!  I now knew what my life profession would be!!

Somewhat earlier, my college faculty advisor, Professor Raymond Westerfield, encouraged me to write my senior Thesis on Advertising in his Marketing course … and, as means to an end … gave me a letter of recommendation to the then President of Young & Rubicam, a former Yale quarterback named Chester Laroche.  Mr. Laroche gave me further encouragement, and thus I worked for two summers at Y & R.

Several months later Young & Rubicam offered me a job at graduation in their Print Production Department, because I had learned from a man named Al Newell how to get the right color green in the progressive proofs of the magazines running General Foods’ Birds-Eye peas and string-beans ads.  But before I could latch on to even one day’s work, the Navy called me up as a Midshipman, and ultimately I spent the next 3½ years, mostly in the South Pacific, on board a Destroyer Escort.  My ship, the USS Harmon DE678, was awarded three battle stars and, most importantly, endured the four-day “Halsey’s Typhoon” when three Destroyers … the Hull, the Spence and the Monahan … capsized, losing a horrendous number of lives.

The rest is history.  Brand Manager at Warner Lambert.  Back again to an advertising agency that became Norman, Craig & Kummel.  And, finally, a long stint at McCann Erickson … retiring in 1987.

Along the way some 25 years ago Al Seaman of SSCB-Lintas & Bart Cummings of Compton merged their respective Advertising Educational Foundations of the 4A’s & the American Advertising Federation, and I was appointed the Chief Fundraiser in their new enlarged venture.  Their timing for raising money was right.  The appeal was shared by an amazingly talented group of Trustees & Associates, and the goal that Al Seaman & Bart Cummings set at $1 million-plus fell quickly by the wayside.  To make a long story short, we raised almost ten times as much as we set out to do.  To be exact … $10,680,334!

But let’s take a closer look at the Advertising Educational Foundation’s Trustees & Fundraisers at that time.  When I was subsequently appointed the Chairman of the AEF, Al Seaman and Bart Cummings became Founder Chairman & Vice Chairman.  The other Vice-Chairmen were Ike Herbert of Coca-Cola & Jack Bowen of Benton & Bowles.  Trustees included Ed Ney, Jock Elliott of Ogilvy, Bill Lynch of Leo Burnett, Burt Manning of J. Walter Thompson, John O’Toole of Foote Cone & Belding, Laurel Cutler of Leber & Katz, Shelly Lazarus of Ogilvy and Ed Wax of Saatchi.  Advertiser Trustees were Bill LaMothe of Kellogg, Tim Crull of Nestlé, Tony O’Reilly of H.J. Heinz, Mike Roarty of Anheuser Busch, and George Bull of Grand Metropolitan-Diageo in London.  Gene Jankowsky of CBS fame, Reg Brack of Time Inc., and Don MacDonald of The Wall St. Journal were Media Trustees and Fundraisers.  And with Paula Alex urging & cheering on all of us!

Ed Ney and Gene Kummel  
Ed Ney and Gene Kummel  

So while I am delighted at the current Board of Trustees insisting on my being celebrated, as you can see, it was a group effort.  For example, think of what it was like for the Chairman & the President of a cereal brand to be flattered with receiving myself and three of their very largest competitors … Tim Crull, Chairman of Nestlé USA, Bill LaMothe, Chairman of Kellogg, & Art Schultze, Vice Chairman of General Mills, on behalf of the Advertising Educational Foundation.

To say the least, the cause had to be great … and it was … hundreds of advertising people being recruited as Ambassadors and speakers at the colleges & universities on behalf of Advertising, and hundreds of professors using their spring and summer months to visit clients, agencies, and the Media for the Visiting Professors Program.  Other programs followed.

As a further outgrowth of the AEF program, I inaugurated an 18-year guest-lecture program at Yale University that featured world-renowned guest speakers … six to eight each year … that included Akio Morita of Sony of Japan; Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones & Guy Peyrelongue of L’Oreal France; Camillo Pagano, Helmuth Maucher, Carlos Represas & Peter Brabeck of Nestlé Switzerland; Johan Erbé, Morris Tabaksblat & Michael Perry of Unilever; Sir Colin Marshall of British Airways.  It prompted Richard Levin, President of Yale, to state to me in a letter at the close of my 18 years: “Long before we had an Office of International Affairs, we had global leaders at Yale because of your efforts”.  (Just as an aside, let me inform you that the current Chairman of Yale’s Department of International Affairs is the former President of Mexico, Ernesto Zedillo!”)

To wrap all of this up, here is one further anecdote that took place shortly before my retirement in 1987.  I had traveled to Washington to attend Ruth Wooden’s Annual Advertising Council Meeting taking place that year at the State Department, when I was told that the man in the wheelchair was Chester Laroche Sr., the very person who started me off at his Young & Rubicam agency during the summers of 1941 & 1942.  So I thought it might be appropriate for me to go over and thank Mr. Laroche … which I did.  I thought “After all, he is the one who got me started in Advertising … and on a perfect platform”.  So I went over to his wheelchair and bent over him to say “Mr. Laroche, my name is Gene Kummel, and I want to thank you for putting me to work in my very first job in Advertising.”  As I turned away to leave him, he looked up and growled “What are you doing now?”  You can believe me when I tried to immodestly say “I am now Chairman & CEO of McCann-Erickson!”

Mr. Chester Laroche looked upward and growled a second time:



Sheila Hopkins  
Sheila Hopkins, VP & GM Professional Oral Care NA,
Colgate Oral Pharmaceuticals

In 1992, General Mills became a major supporter of the AEF with a $250,000 grant from The General Mills Foundation which funded production of an educational documentary video about how research guides the advertising process.

Released in 1995, “Good-Bye Guesswork” received awards for excellence in college and high school classroom use and as supplemental material to seven leading college textbooks.  In addition, the United States Information Agency requested and was granted permission to use it overseas at their embassies and libraries.
As part of General Mills’ original commitment to the AEF Mission, their Vice Chairman, Art Schulze, joined the AEF Board.  He was an active member, participating in solicitations to major advertiser companies; recruiting General Mills’ staff for the Speakers Program and paving the way for qualified marketing professors to spend several weeks at the General Mills office and in the company’s ad agencies as part of the Visiting Professor Program.  

The Company’s most recent AEF Board member, Rudy Rodriguez, Director of Multicultural Marketing, co-chaired our 2006 Annual Symposium,  “Multiculturalism in the Marketplace:  Targeting the Latina and African American Female and Gay Male Consumer.”  The event was a home run!

Tonight, Mark Addicks, Senior Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer, will accept the AEF 2008 Advertiser Award on behalf of General Mills’ in recognition of General Mills’ commitment to and generous support of the AEF.  Mark is stepping in at the last minute for Marc Belton, whose father passed away quite suddenly.

In his role, Mark has oversees the company’s global brand-building strategy, including its advertising, promotions, PR, design, packaging, online, licensing and multicultural initiatives.  He also oversees some of the industry’s most recognized equity platforms, including Box Tops for Education and the Pillsbury Bake-Off. 

On behalf of the AEF, it is a great pleasure to present this year’s Advertiser Award to General Mills and Mark Addicks. 


Mark Addicks  
Mark Addicks, SVP and CMO, General Mills, Inc.  

Thank you very much.  We were thrilled when we were first notified when Ken Powler, Chairman, was first called about this award.  We have been strong supporters of the AEF and we will continue to be strong supporters.  We fundamentally believe in the mission of identifying the best and most strategic folks to enter this industry and to help us build brands. 

I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you that tonight, when I entered the room, it was really like a homecoming for someone like me.  I’ve been working at General Mills for 20 years on a variety of brands, and we’ve got a lot of great brands.  But, I can tell you from a very personal standpoint, our advertising partners have driven and taken care, and have truly been the stewards of our business.  And I have learned so much from many of these people, who have taught me how to build brands.  They’ve taught me the philosophy behind great brands, they’ve taught me how to think about it.  Creating an idea that engaging a consumer is building a long-term loyalty.  So, this is really a great occasion for me.

I also want to recognize our two global partners here tonight: Saatchi & Saatchi and McCann Worldwide.  Also, one of our latest agencies Burrell.  I can tell you truly that when they heard that one of our early funding initiatives was market research, we all kind of rolled our eyes because I think at times that we’ve driven them crazy, but what I so appreciate about these folks is that they are a true partner.  They stay with us day after day after day all in the spirit of finding a better idea, that truly engaging idea behind the brand when we would do something much worse, in many occasions.

We’re having a great year, so this comes at a great time for us.  On behalf of all the people at General Mills, I really want to thank you very much.


Steve Hayden  
Steve Hayden, Vice Chairman, Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide  

Tonight we are honoring the participation of the many agencies that make up the Publicis Groupe -- now the 4th largest marketing communications company in the world.   The network brings together some of the best and oldest names in our industry including Leo Burnett, Saatchi & Saatchi, Publicis, Starcom MediaVest, Zenith Optimedia and new to the group, Digitas.

Publicis Groupe agencies have supported the AEF since the founding of the organization.   Saatchi & Saatchi and Leo Burnett are among the AEF’s founding members.  Over the years, both agencies have contributed and participated in many AEF Programs.  In fact, Leo Burnett received the AEF 2003 Honors Night Agency Award for their ongoing and generous support.

More recently the Publicis USA agency has joined its sister shops in providing an outstanding level of commitment and involvement in the AEF’s programs.  Gil Duff, CEO of Publicis NY has been on the board for the past three years, and Susan Gianinno, Chairman and CEO, Publicis USA, participated in the AEF Speakers Program with a visit to her alma mater, Boston College.   Many Publicis agencies have continued to support the AEF Visiting Professor Program by hosting a professor at their offices each summer.

So it should come as no surprise that today we present the Agency Award to one of the fastest growing communications companies in the world, whose predecessor agencies and current agency brands and networks have supported the AEF in making a difference since its inception and continue to do so today -- the Publicis Groupe.

Representing Publicis here in the US is Susan Gianinno Chairman & CEO of Publicis USA.  She is herself a widely accomplished executive.

Recently, Ed Ney summed up the essence of Susan Gianinno, saying “Susan is the coolest person in town, the hardest worker…and in the end, the smartest.” 

So, on behalf of the AEF, I am pleased to present this year’s Agency Award to Susan who is accepting for the entire Publicis Groupe.


Susan Gianinno and Steve Hayden  
Susan Gianinno and Steve Hayden  

Thank you, Steve.

I had the pleasure of working with Steve while we were both at BBDO – a lifetime ago.  Steve is an exceptional talent who has done so much for our industry.  And his and Ogilvy’s support of the AEF’s mission have contributed enormously to the efforts to increase the understanding of our industry and to anticipate our future by touching the lives of the next generation of talent.

I have also had the “great good fortune” of working with others in our industry who championed the idea and lent their support to the AEF – Ed Ney, Allen Rosenshine – and, of course now, Maurice Levy.

These leaders (as all of you here tonight) truly understand how critically important it is to be active cultivators of young talent and to create a fuller, richer understanding of our industry among all key influencers.  This is essential if we want to continue to attract the highest quality talent to our industry.

I am honored to accept this award for Publicis Groupe and on behalf of Maurice Levy. Publicis Groupe is honored to accept this award.  Education and advertising share a belief in the liberating power of knowledge and ideas.  Thank you very much.

And, my sincere congratulations to the other honorees.  Especially to Gene Kummel on his well-deserved lifetime achievement award.

Marcel Bleustein Blanchet – the founder of Publicis – was just inducted into the AAF Hall of Fame (the first non-American to achieve this distinction). He had only an 11th grade education.  But he understood the power and value of advertising and the need to educate people to understand this value.

When, at 21 in 1926, he told his father that he wanted to start an ad agency, his father said, “You want to sell hot air (courant d’air)?”  After a career in advertising, he would tell his father, “Advertising’s ‘hot air’ makes windmills turn and scatters the seeds of progress around the world.”

Long before good corporate citizenship became the common theme it is today, Marcel knew that business had a broader duty to the community. Early in his career, he set up the Foundation for Vocation and later launched a new initiative under the name “100,000 jobs for 100,000 students.”

We are happy to be able to present each of you with a very special coffee-table style book called, "Born in 1842: A History of Advertising," which was published in 2006 to commemorate the centenary of Marcel Bleustein-Blanchet’s birth and the 80th anniversary of the founding of Publicis.

Believing in and educating about the positive role this industry can play in culture and society and the positive power of its ideas is at the heart of the AEF’s mission.  It is this message that will bring in and inspire the next generation of talent.

Publicis Groupe totally supports this mission, applauds the AEF’s efforts and is honored to be recognized for its contributions.

Merci.  Thank you.


Ken Babby  
Ken Babby, Advertising Director, Washington Post Media  

It is my pleasure to be with you on behalf of Katharine Weymouth, CEO of Washington Post Media and Publisher of The Washington Post, to present the AEF’s 2008 Media Award to AOL and Randy Falco. This is a special night for AOL and especially for Randy and his family. In fact, I am proud to report that Post Chairman Don Graham was the recipient of the 2006 AEF Media Award. Both Don and Katharine personally send their regrets and sincere congratulations to Randy and the AOL family on tonight’s Award.

Since joining the Time Warner family, AOL has become one of the Advertising Educational Foundation’s important and consistent supporters.  To wit: AOL contributes generously to Honors Night; has helped drive traffic to aef.com, the AEF’s educational website; and

AOL has sponsored two of the AEF’s Annual Symposia: 1) in 2003 -“How is Advertising Shaping the Image of Women?” with Gloria Steinem as keynote speaker; and 2) in 2004 -“The New Femininity.” The keynote speaker that year was Val Ackerman, then president of the WNBA.   Both events were successes and are streamed in their entirety on the Foundation’s website. This could not have been possible without AOL’s contributions.

On behalf of the AEF, it is a great pleasure to invite Randy Falco, AOLs Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, to the podium to accept the Media Award on behalf of AOL. Congratulations.


Thank you Ken for that kind introduction. It’s great to be here with so many good friends.  And on behalf of my colleagues at AOL, I gladly accept this award.

It’s a true honor for AOL to be recognized by the AEF. You are doing so much to help educate young people about the industry. And you’re encouraging the best and brightest to become part of it. That’s particularly important today.

Randy Falco  
Randy Falco, Chairman and CEO, AOL  

I’m pleased that AOL has been able to support your work over the years and I look forward to continuing these efforts.

I’m particularly happy to see that the AEF is fully embracing the Web. Your website is a great one that’s helping young people make connections, learn, and grow professionally. That’s what the Web is all about, and I commend you for these efforts.

The work you’re doing is especially important today, as the advertising industry undergoes sweeping changes. From my perspective, this is a simply the best time to be in this industry.  Change is everywhere…and for the better.

When I first got into the media business three decades ago, we were in a one-way media and advertising culture. We published out and we didn’t really want to hear back from customers.  Today, it’s a two-way street. We get to hear back from consumers every day. Loud and clear.   We hear back from them in user-generated videos. We hear back from them through blogs. But we also hear back from them by their online behaviors.  This two-way dialogue is helping us serve consumers with more relevant and better experiences… wherever they are on the Web.

When I got started in this business, we relied on Nielsen data to target ads. It was a pretty blunt instrument.  Today, we have a vast array of new tools and technologies that let us target ads with incredible precision. We can track consumers…we can target ads based on their preferences… and precisely measure results for advertisers.

We’ve never had anything like this before.  While all this is creating new opportunities, it’s also creating new challenges … as advertisers and agencies grapple with an industry that is transforming in front of their eyes.

That gets to my last point. With all these changes and all this new technology, one thing remains constant: People matter.

The relationships you have with your customers are just as important as ever – more important, in fact.  At the end of the day, this business is all about serving customers…It’s about working with publishers and advertisers on a personal level -- face-to-face. It’s about understanding their needs, and finding the best ways to meet them.   

That’s a lesson I know that the AEF is helping to instill in this next generation of advertising professionals – through your Speakers Program on campus, your Website, and the many other great things you are doing.

Through your work, you’re encouraging the best and brightest people to join our ranks… get the skills they need….and encourage them to succeed.  That’s why I’m proud to be here and to support the work you do at the AEF.

Thank you for the work the AEF does. And on behalf of AOL, thank you so much for this award.


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