American Advertising Federation of Des Moines


While the American Advertising Federation of Des Moines has been in existence since 1978, a review of our history reveals a past that goes back as far as the early 1900s.

In 1908, a small team of 23 Des Moines advertising professionals emerged as the first group to address the challenges facing our young industry. Forming the Des Moines Ad Club, they were known locally as some of the most innovative in our field. In 1914, with a membership of 36, the group changed its name to the Advertising Club of Des Moines, Inc.

Thirty-five years later, on September 22, 1949, the Women’s Advertising Club was formed by 74 women professionals and the club became Iowa’s first chapter of the American Advertising Federation (AAF) in 1950.

It was not until the mid-1970s that the “all-male, all-female” tradition of each organization was broken. And after joint committees were formed to discuss the idea of merging the two groups together, the clubs agreed to join their efforts. In 1978, the professional organization known today as American Advertising Federation of Des Moines, was formed.

Today, our members come from every area of advertising, marketing and communications – advertising agencies, advertisers, print and electronic media, and suppliers to the advertising industry. We are affiliated with AAF, the only national organization to represent the interests of all factions within the marketing profession at the local, state and national levels.

Within the national AAF structure, American Advertising Federation of Des Moines belongs to the Ninth District, which includes clubs in Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas. A portion of each member’s annual dues investment is allocated to support AAF efforts on our behalf at both the district and national levels.

One of the strongest clubs in the Midwest, American Advertising Federation of Des Moines is over 250 members strong and continues to reach out in important ways within the community through student outreach and community service activities. In addition, the club is responsible locally for The ADDY® Awards each year.

The 100th anniversary of our club was in 2008 and efforts are always underway to reclaim our advertising roots. You can help. As you clean the garage or attic of old files, look for dated club materials from any year: materials from The ADDY® Awards such as calls for entries, winner’s books, invitations, Grid Iron scripts, tapes or reviews, club newsletters or correspondence, photographs, news clippings, ticket stubs, specialty items, meeting notices, board minutes, or membership directories. Please share these with us whenever you find a bit of our history lurking among your things.

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