Black Advertising Agencies (Finally) Unite To Form Industry Group

Some of the nation’s leading African-American advertising agencies have formed a new association to represent their interests and advocate for their continued growth. The Association of Black-Owned Advertising Agencies, Inc. (ABAA) was founded by ten agencies and marketingcommunications companies following meetings late last year. The new group is incorporated in the state of Illinois, and its interim chairman is Eugene Morris, chairman and CEO of Chicago-based E. Morris Communications, Inc.

“The formation of the ABAA was long overdue,” said Morris. “For more than 40 years, the African-American market has been the number one ethnic market in America. With the growing importance of these consumers, we need to find ways to collectively use our expertise and address critical issues facing both the market and our agencies.”

Black-owned ad agencies and marketing communications firms have annual billings of more than $1 billion. They represent clients from Fortune 100 corporations, to major local companies, to leading not-for-profit organizations, and have built the foundation and principles for successful segmented marketing for the entire industry.

“We have launched the association with agencies representing all the geographical areas of the nation,” said Morris. “We look forward to building a membership that is truly representative of all black-owned agencies, of all sizes, wherever they may be based.”

The founding members of the ABAA are:

Anderson Communications – Atlanta, GA / Al Anderson, Chairman
E. Morris Communications – Chicago, IL / Eugene Morris, Chairman & CEO
Equals Three Communications – Bethseda, MD / Eugene Faison, Chairman & CEO
Fuse Advertising – St. Louis, MO / Clifford Franklin, President & CEO
Lattimer Moffitt Communications – Atlanta, GA / Maria Moffitt, Managing
Matlock Advertising & Public Relations – Atlanta, GA / Kent Matlock,
Chairman & CEO
Muse Communications – Los Angeles, CA / J. Melvin Muse, Chairman &
Executive Creative Director
Prime Access – New York, NY / Howard Buford, President & CEO
R.J. Dale Advertising & Public Relations – Chicago, IL / Robert Dale,
President & CEO
SWG&M Advertising – El Paso, TX / Robert Wingo, President & CEO

According to its by-laws, ABAA’s mission is:

— To advocate for the interests of African-American-owned advertising agencies and marketing communications firms.
— To maintain relations with governmental, industry, consumer and other organizations on matters affecting advertising and marketing communications.
— To engage in, and encourage the development of research that increases the understanding of African-American consumers, their relationship to the marketplace, and the role of advertising and marketing in guiding consumers’ decisions.
— To advise and maintain good relations with associations representing advertisers, media, suppliers and consumers, and with other associations and industries concerned with or related to advertising or marketing communications.
— To establish opportunities for African-American students who desire to enter the advertising profession and related fields of marketing communications through scholarships, internships and mentoring programs.

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