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Ad Club Welcomes Nominees, Guests to 2009 ADDY Awards

The Ad Club of Western Mass. will roll out the red carpet — literally — for area marketers at this year’s ADDY awards event, slated for Thursday, March 12 at CityStage in Springfield.

This year’s awards are “all about ADDYtude,” said club President Alta Stark, stressing and she expects a fun, spirited celebration of local advertising and marketing creativity.

“We want to have a little fun with this,” she said. “We’ll have a red carpet, and we’ll have some fun with people on the red carpet. We want to encourage them and have a good time, and we’ll have entertainment geared toward that.”

The regional ADDYs recognize creative excellence in all media — radio, TV, Web, and print — and include a wide range of formats, including interactive, out-of-home, and public-service advertising. All contestants who take home a silver or gold ADDY are eligible to continue on to the national level of competition.

The ADDYs are typically a three-tier event, with district winners advancing to regional competition, and regional winners put forward for national consideration. But the Western Mass. region has only one district, so its annual event doubles for both.

Stark called the competition an important part of the region’s business landscape, one that entrants take seriously.

“Agencies and creative professionals see this as a great selling tool,” she said. “What better way to attract more business than saying, ‘hey, we brought home six ADDYs; we must be doing something right.

“Sometimes,” she added, “agencies enter works on behalf of clients, or people enter their own work. We see a lot of both.”

The Ad Club will kicking off the festivities with a cocktail party and ‘grand buffet’ — catered by Elegant Affairs — at 5 p.m., during which time all the regional nominees will be on display. In all, 166 entries were received this year from creative firms and in-house marketing departments across the four counties of Western Mass.

At 7 p.m., the club will announce the winners. That will be followed by dessert and coffee, with the event wrapping up by 9 p.m.

The judges for the event are Susan Cook Adkins, president and creative director of Adkins & Associates of Benbrook, Texas; Mark Bazil, professor of Advertising at Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia; and Gregg Steward, senior vice president of DDB in Miami.

“All the judges are experienced on the national level,” said Stark, explaining that such judges will be looking for qualities that will succeed at the next level. “We wanted to bring in people who have experience with the national ADDYs so that these works will be judged on a similar level of competency.”

Gold sponsors for the event are the Republican and MassLive. Hampden Bank is the silver sponsor, and bronze sponsors include New England Promotional Marketing, the Baystate Regional Sleep Program, Bidwell ID, and Del Padre Digital.

Tickets cost $50 for club members, $60 for non-members, and $25 for full-time students. To register, log ontowww.adclubwm.org, or call (413) 736-2582.

— Joseph Bednar

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