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Marketing Agencies Association Worldwide Opens Ranks to Heads Of Direct Marketing, Event Marketing, Promotion Marketing Shops

MIAMI, FL - The Association of Promotion Marketing Agencies (APMA) Worldwide chose the occasion of the largest-ever participation in the GLOBES awards on October 30 to announce an expansion of the organization's mission and scope, along with a brand-new name and logo to reflect its new identity.

Now known as the Marketing Agencies Association (MAA) Worldwide, the 29-year-old association of top-level agency executives has opened its ranks for the first time to the heads of direct, event and integrated marketing, as well as traditional membership base of the CEOs of promotion marketing shops.

Members voted overwhelmingly to approve the change last May, following the recommendation of a seven-person "branding" committee that had conducted a yearlong study. The association has approximately 85 members in 18 countries, primarily the presidents and principals of promotion agencies, and draws from a worldwide field of entries - 1,200 this year -- to produce winners for the GLOBES Awards each fall. "We see this as an evolutionary rather than a revolutionary move," said Neil Contess, MAA Worldwide's incoming (2002-04) president (North America president for 141 Worldwide), "because it addresses two very important realities.

"One is that many, if not most, of our members' companies have long engaged in DM, EM and integrated activities for their clients. The other is that a great many direct and event marketing agencies who have not been APMA/MAA members have been creating and executing some outstanding promotions.

"Because of their varying disciplines, each group has a base of knowledge and experience that can benefit the other, and both can learn from each other. So there's a tremendous synergy to be gained from bringing them together under the MAA Worldwide umbrella."

Outgoing (2000-02) MAA Worldwide president Iain Ferguson, CEO of Euro RSCG Marketing Services , spearheaded the evolutionary process. He characterizes the organization as "an association of like-minded individuals that provides, on a global basis, opportunities for personal networking, a process for professional recognition, and a forum for learning, understanding and developing agency best practices. "From an evolutionary standpoint, our members by and large run the types of agencies that have moved beyond the disciplinary biases of the past to become the media-neutral, tactically flexible, executionally focused, strategic partners that today's clients want."

MAA Worldwide's core activities are a two-day professional "retreat" every spring, usually at a site outside the United States, and a three-day, conference and business meeting in the fall, usually in Florida, in conjunction with the GLOBES Awards. The spring 2003 meeting will take place in Evian, France.

[Members of the 'branding' committee referred to above were Janine Maxwell, Onyx Marketing Group, Toronto; Dori Molitor, Waters Molitor, Minneapolis; Diego Masi, Promotions Italia, Rome/Milan; Marcus Starke, 141 Worldwide-Europe; Neil Contess; Iain Ferguson; and Caroline Johnson, Johnson Day Partnership, London.]

Additional information about MAA Worldwide membership requirements may be obtained by contacting Vincent Sottosanti, Executive Vice President, of MAA at 1-239-435-3217 or


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