History

  • AAF was founded in 1943 as the Birmingham Advertising Club and incorporated in 1978. The name was changed in 1998 to reflect our close ties with American Advertising Federation. AAF members work in advertising agencies, corporate advertising departments, in advertising media and with suppliers of goods and services to these groups.

 

  • From the beginning, members have worked to enhance our skills, increase our professionalism and use our talents to benefit the Birmingham community.

 

  • In its earliest days during World War II, AAF sponsored events to sell War Bonds. One event attracted 19,500 people and generated more than $500,000 in bond sales.

 

  • In 1954-55, AAF volunteers set up and staffed the fundraising headquarters for what is now our city’s zoo. Our volunteers raised $24,000 to build Monkey Island. (How much would that be in TODAY’s dollars?)

 

  • In the early 1960s when Birmingham was ravaged by racial unrest, AAF developed the “favorable facts” campaign used by local media and supported by advertisers. More recently, club volunteers have donated their time and talent to help such organizations as Angel Flight, the Leeds School System and the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

 

  • Through its history, AAF has used speakers and programs to educate members on the latest trends in technology, creativity and marketing. Education efforts also have extended to the business community through programs at Samford University and UAB. Student programs and scholarships help ensure a continuing flow of talent to the Birmingham market. Media auctions and other special events help fund these education programs.

 

  • AAF also protects and promotes advertising at all levels of government through grassroots activities, promotes diversity in advertising by encouraging the recruitment of people of diverse cultures and honors advertising excellence through the ADDY® Awards program.

 

  • AAF is a regular participant in the AAF Club Achievement competition to recognize excellence in areas of club activity including programs, membership, communications, education, management, diversity, government relations and public service. Besides many awards in individual areas, AAF has earned national Club of the Year awards ten times since 1980, most recently in 2003.

 

  • AAF uses fundraising events – auctions, PEAK Awards, sports days, roasts, Super Bowl Advertising Reviews, etc. — to support its multiple educational activities. Historically, fundraising generates about a third of the club’s total annual income. This money is used for professional development seminars, student workshops, scholarships and other educational efforts.

 

  • AAF has held ADDY® competitions since 1958. At it’s peak – so far – we received more than 700 entries and had about 500 people attend the awards presentation.