Advertising Week 2011: How to Prevent the Future

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That leaves us with purpose. I am continually amazed by how many advertising agencies attempt to create long-lasting, robust enterprises without ever developing meaningful statements of purpose. The stages of Advertising Week seem full of preening peacocks. From the perspective of the marketers and their advertising agencies, everyone is adapting, moving forward, conquering their demons and leading the way out of the recession. Interesting thing about peacocks is they can only fly short distances, shed those beautiful feathers every year and spend most of their time on the ground foraging for food. We need to work more closely together for the benefit of the industry, share more usable information, tackle the major problems in concert and grade ourselves objectively and stringently.

I would like to see an advertising week that is two sessions: a three-day fall session and a three-day summer session. The fall session would be closed to industry outsiders as the industry and expert facilitators bring the best industry minds to focus on the real issues and develop objectives and action items. The early summer session would be presentations, grading and a celebration of goals met.

I don't know about anyone else but I'm not interested in attending the same event every year anymore. I'd like to move forward.

This work is the opinion of the columnist and in no way reflects the opinion of ABC News.

Larry Woodard is a director on the Advertising Week board and chairman of the American Association of Advertising Agencies' New York Council.

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