Marketing has had a tough time of it recently. Adspend parsimony, belt-tightening all round, cost-cutting, layoffs, closures.

Just about the only untrimmed commodity is marketing and advertising events. Conferences, congresses, fairs, festivals, conventions, exhibitions, symposia, seminars, showcases, retrospectives, colloquia and convocations -- adorning just about every major city and resort on the face of the globe.

So does the world really need another such event? O Burtch Drake thinks it does.

Drake, president/ceo of the American Association of Advertising Agencies, is leading a consortia of more than twenty organizations all eager to mount a brand new event: Advertising Week, scheduled for New York City, September 20-24, 2004.

Based on the Big Apple's highly successful Fashion Week, the upcoming shindig will see the National Television Academy of Arts and Sciences bestow a new annual award for outstanding achievement in advertising; the development of a Madison Avenue "advertising walk of fame," saluting characters and slogans chosen by Joe Public.

There'll also be weeklong exhibits at Grand Central Terminal dedicated to subjects like the history of public-service advertising, ads for Broadway shows and the 'I Love New York' campaign; plus a national vote by consumers on the Yahoo website for favorite TV and print ads.

Explains Drake: "What's driving this is that we've gone through three really terrible years. What we want to do is emulate what some other major industries in New York like fashion and film have done and create a platform to showcase our industry as an economic force and as an attractive place to work."

Drake rounded-off his presentation with a promise: "All that week in New York, wherever you go, you'll see ad guys, for good or for worse." Words, some fear, that could trigger a mass exodus to the Hamptons.

Data sourced from: New York Times; additional content by WARC staff