Commercialpalooza: Advertising Week in N.Y.

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The topics for next week's event range from diversity and inclusion to cause marketing and creativity in the digital age. There will be events focusing on the development of young talent, as well as the inaugural Fast Company Leadership Summit.

Rising 10,000 feet to get above the din of thousands of egocentric admen connecting to each other's LinkedIn sites, how will this week actually begin to deal with the aforementioned issues on the table regarding the industry? That's a fair question, but it is clear looking at the topics and the participants that the industry is giving it a shot.

Diversity at Top of the Agenda

The week begins with a focus on diversity instead of having it on the agenda Friday afternoon when the top brass are on their way out of town. The diversity topic is also being dealt with from a solution perspective with a panel discussion being moderated by Hill, entitled, "The Inside Game: Diversity Strategies That Work." Another discussion, "Making Multicultural Matter," is being hosted by the world's largest advertiser, P&G.

There is a significant focus on cause marketing with seminars such as "Spark a Movement," about igniting cultural movements, and "Marketing Green Without Greenwashing."

The Fast Company Leadership Summit will focus on encouraging innovation and risk-taking despite a challenging economic environment. Other seminars: "Beyond the Glass Ceiling," "Stop Talking and Start Listening" and "New Yorkers Creating Change Through Leadership."

I'm not so naive as to believe that one week will change an industry. I know that much of what people dislike about our industry comes more from facts than fiction.

But I am encouraged that many of the topics that have not been openly discussed are front-and-center this year and there are so many successful voices from outside of our industry being invited to come and weigh in. Here's hoping that a good Advertising Week ushers in a great advertising year.

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

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