Highlights From 2023 AAF ADMERICA National Conference

Helen Lin, Chief Digital Officer at Publicis Groupe, Named 2023-24 Board Chair; Jack Bamberger, Global Chief Revenue Officer at Captify, Elected Vice Chair

Goodby Silverstein & Partners Takes Home Best of Show at the American Advertising Awards

Liberty University Wins National Student Advertising Competition

Kevin Dobbs, Executive Director, AAF District 10, Presented the Barton A. Cummings Gold Award, AAF’s Highest Recognition for Volunteer Service


WASHINGTON, DC, JUNE 6, 2023— The American Advertising Federation (AAF) hosted its annual ADMERICA National Conference in St. Louis, MO, June 1-June 4.  Themed “Your Gateway to Advertising,” the four-day event attracted hundreds of representatives from advertising agencies, marketers, media companies, suppliers and colleges and universities around the country. Its focus was on sharing insights from industry professionals, designed to elevate each attendees’ personal and professional approach to excellence.  Equally important, the event celebrated achievements in creativity and public service, and demonstrated enthusiasm for the industry across the association's grassroots network.

Highlights from this year’s event include:

  • Helen Lin, Chief Digital Officer at Publicis Groupe, and Jack Bamberger, Global Chief Revenue Officer at Captify, were named 2023-24 AAF Board Chair and Vice Chair, respectively
  • Winners from this year’s American Advertising Awards (ADDYs) were announced, with the “Hands Free” integrated campaign from Goodby Silverstein & Partners for Cheetos Winning Best of Show 
  • Liberty University was named the winner of the National Student Advertising Competition for its submission on behalf of a real-world corporate client, Indeed
  • Kevin Dobbs, Executive Director, AAF District 10, was Presented the Barton A. Cummings Gold Award for volunteer service


2023-24 AAF Board Announcement

Helen Lin, Chief Digital Officer at Publicis Groupe, was named AAF Board Chair for 2023-24.  She most recently served as Vice Chair. Jack Bamberger, Global Chief Revenue Officer at Captify, was named Vice Chair. Mr. Bamburger will become Board Chair next year.  

An ADCOLOR Legend, multiple media all-star and Changing the Game Honoree, over the past year, Ms. Lin’s focus has been on bringing talent into the industry, keeping them, and helping them to chart their path to growth through training, upskilling and mapping the right opportunities. Mr. Bamberger brings more than 25 years of industry experience, much of which was spent in leadership roles forging partnerships across media platforms, technology, data, enterprise solutions—in other words, working with many of the members of AAF. Mr. Bamberger, too, was a prior winning participant in the AAF National Student Advertising Competition, as well as serving on the Boards of the Ad Council, Interactive Advertising Bureau and Effies Worldwide.  

Said Steve Pachceo, President and CEO, AAF, “We couldn’t ask for two more accomplished and unifying individuals than Helen and Jack to lead us in the coming year.” He added, “I want to thank our outgoing Chair, Tiffany R. Warren, for two years of extraordinary leadership. Through COVID and assorted other industry challenges, Tiffany never lost sight of her vision—to demonstrate the true impact of AAF’s reach within the academic, DE&I, corporate, tech and creative communities.”

Ms. Lin and Mr. Bamburger assume their new roles on July 1, 2023.

American Advertising Awards

At a National Gala, hosted by EMMY winner and two-time NAACP Image Award recipient Loni Love, winners of this year’s American Advertising Awards were announced.  The national competition is widely acknowledged to be the largest and most representative industry recognition of its kind, with more than 25,000 entries received as part of the three-tier competition.  The awards are often viewed as a lens, offering insights to work that may also perform well at the Cannes International Festival of Creativity later in June.

Cheetos “Hands-Free,” an integrated campaign that allowed Cheetos fans to take credit for every hands-free invention ever created, was awarded Best of Show.  It was inspired by Cheetle®, the iconic orange dust that gets on fingertips. Goodby Silverstein & Partners created the campaign. Best of Show for the student portion of the competition went to Miami Ad School’s Ashlee Eakin for “The Art of Resonance,” which focused on “Cymatics”—the physical effect of resonant frequencies on matter—as a way to see sound.  

Said David Campbell, Chair of the National American Advertising Awards Committee, “Entrants continue to up their game each year.  To advance through three tiers of judging, each with a different jury, and to become the one of more than 25,000 to claim Best of Show is truly an extraordinary feat.”

In all, 64 Gold ADDY Awards were presented in the professional portion of the competition, along with four special Honors. Eighteen (18) Gold ADDY Awards were presented in the Student division.

National Advertising Student Competition (NSAC)

Now in its 50th year, the NSAC is the premiere college advertising competition that provides more than 2,000 college students the real-world experience of creating a strategic advertising and marketing campaign for a corporate client.  This year’s 
Corporate client was Indeed—especially relevant to college students looking to pursue careers after they graduate.  Liberty University, last year’s student runner up, was the winner. Texas State came in second. Said Carmen Graf, vice president and head of global brand advertising and media at Indeed, “This competition has been the most amazing process.  We would literally do it again.  What we’ve received from these collegiate teams and this process is unbelievable,” adding, “these students are going to impact great change in the advertising industry.”

Barton A. Cummings Gold Award for Volunteer Service

Kevin Dobbs, Executive Director of AAF’s Tenth District in Odessa, TX, was presented the Barton A. Cummings Gold Award for volunteer service. The award was established in 1994 in memory of the late Bart Cummings, CEO of Compton Advertising (now Saatchi & Saatchi) who believed dedication to industry service and advancing the social and economic values of advertising were as important as any business-related endeavor.  

Mr. Dobbs has been an AAF volunteer for 50 years, more than 30 of which were in service of AAF’s District 10—the last 18 as Executive Director.  But Kevin’s contributions go well beyond the local level. He has helped foster greater levels of cooperation and integration between clubs; advocated for accreditation; counseled young industry leaders; and been a champion for diversity, equity and inclusion. He is a leader of the highest ethics, principles and professionalism. Noted Ann C. Iverson, Committee Chair, Barton A. Cummings Gold Medal Award, “Kevin’s deep commitment, devotion, contributions, accomplishments, and many years of service to and on behalf of the advertising industry, at the AAF local, regional, and national levels, made him uniquely qualified and deserving of the Barton A. Cummings Gold Medal Award.”

The next ADMERICA conference will take place in Salt Lake City, UT, beginning May 29, 2024.