The American Association of Advertising Agencies is doing a little PR and branding work on itself. The association’s president and chief executive Nancy Hill, “announced the group would now go by the name 4A’s, since the “American” was too limited (advertisers do business internationally), as was “Advertising Agencies” (firms now offer public relations services as well),” reported The New York Times‘ Stephanie Clifford today. Naturally, we wanted to get the take of The Council of PR Firms, a national association of more than 100 firms which is in some ways the PR equivalent of the 4A’s.
“Obviously today’s Times story caught our eye,” said Matt Shaw, Senior Vice President, Director of Communications for The Council. “The 4As deserves credit for acknowledging the massive changes taking place in its business; however, as it relates to doing strategic public relations, simply re-branding doesn’t mean an ad agency can do PR like Council members, and public relations firms in general.”
Shaw went on to state, “I wrote a piece in the Daily Dog two years ago on this subject, and my lead was, ‘It turns out that when advertising grows up it wants to be public relations.’ Perhaps this is another step toward fulfilling that prophecy.”