A cast of marketing all-stars lined up on Friday for this year’s Association of National Advertisers conference.

Nearly five hundred delegates at a Dana Point, California, venue heard keynote speaker, Alan G Lafley, the new president and chief executive of Procter & Gamble, making his first major public speech since taking over the role in June

"Make no mistake,” Lafley said, “the advertising industry is in the midst of revolutionary change because consumer expectations are changing. Consumers are becoming activists; less passive, more participative. They expect more performance, quality and value. They demand more control."

He continued: “In the face of changes that so directly and so fundamentally impact brands, we have no choice but to lead. In fact, if we – the global and national brand advertisers represented here – don't lead changes with current and potential consumers of our products and services, then others will."

Philip B Dusenberry, chairman of BBDO New York, threw down a gauntlet to the first general session, on Saturday morning, challenging the received wisdom that global advertisers should tailor their sales pitches specifically to local markets.

"Intrepid U.S. companies with great successful brands have been sending them off to global glory for years," Dusenberry said. He urged global brands to strive for "the majesty of scale, never stinting on production values, never looking home-grown or second-rate, to have the stature that local brands cannot afford."

He cited two of his own largest clients, the Pepsi-Cola and Frito-Lay units of PepsiCo - both ardent believers in global branding. Whereas Pepsi-Cola’s arch-rival, Coca-Cola, is now encouraging local adaptations of its worldwide brand campaign, "Enjoy." Rhetoricized Dusenberry: "Is that the fate for a great American brand, to become a local pipsqueak?"

New ANA chairman for 2000-2001 is John D Hayes, executive v-p for global advertising at American Express. He succeeds Joseph V Tripodi, chief marketing officer at the Seagram Spirits and Wine Group.

Grand Marketer of the Year Award went to Matt Wisk, head of worldwide advertising for the European business-to-business unit of Nokia – in particular for his work promoting the mobile telephone brand when he was v-p for national marketing in the United States.

The first All-America Award for Advertising went to R David Thomas, founder and senior chairman of Wendy's International. The award not only honors business achievement but also humanitarian work: the latter recognition was accorded for his work on the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.

News source: New York Times