The American Association of Advertising Agencies (AAAA) Records spans the years 1918-1998 and includes correspondence, annual corporate and stockholder reports for member agencies, meeting minutes and speeches, biographical summaries, a subject file, and videotapes that document selected activities and functions of the organization. The collection has been compiled from a number of accessions received over time, and so does not represent a comprehensive archive of the AAAA. Certain aspects of AAAA activities, however, are well represented, including the card files that document the professional careers of AAAA members over a 50-year period, and subject files that focus on Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) investigations into complaints lodged against advertisers and advertising claims produced in a variety of media, with a particular emphasis on the ways that products were advertised during and in conjunction with children's television programming. Other topics touched on include advertising self-regulation, antitrust issues, advertising laws, and deceptive and ethical practices in marketing and advertising.
The collection is arranged into four series: Administrative Files, Member Card Files, Vertical Files, and Audiovisual Materials. The Administrative Files Series includes correspondence, member corporate annual and stockholder reports, printed materials, meeting minutes and speeches, and memorabilia. The Member Card Files Series contains approximately 46,000 index cards that briefly document the employment histories of individual members roughly between the years 1920 and 1969. The Vertical Files Series consists of an alphabetical subject file primarily focused on FTC, FCC, and FDA hearings on complaints against advertisers as well as documents and testimonies relating to advertising to children. Also included is a compiled set of writings on advertising during times of recession and war. The Audiovisual Materials Series consists primarily of taped interviews with David Ogilvy and William Bernbach. Original videotapes are closed to patron use. Use copies are currently available for some items. Technical Services staff may need to produce use copies before contents can be accessed. Please contact Research Services staff before coming to use the collection.
Processed by Richard Collier, Arthur Fraas, Caitlin Harding, September 2006
Encoded by Richard Collier
Completed October 2006
Accessions 95-125, 95-131, 96-017, 96-019, 96-043, 96-075, 98-320, 2002-005, and 2006-013 were merged into one collection, described in this finding aid.