American Advertising Federation of Wichita skips ADDYs, district awards them

WICHITA — This time of year traditionally has been when the Wichita advertising community gathers for its annual awards to honor some of the best work of the previous year.

This year, though, there’s no dinner, cocktail hour or gathering of any sort, and there almost weren’t any awards.

“It was a scare for the local club, and as a district we were happy to help out,” says Ryan Brown, ADDY awards chairman for District 9 of the American Advertising Federation.

“For some reason, it just slipped,” Brown says of the Wichita chapter doing the awards. “I’m not sure what the correct word would be. It wasn’t a high priority, I guess.”

The awards were mailed to winners this week.

“We as a district decided to have the (competition), so we went ahead and did it,” Brown says.

Wichita chapter president Ryan Schafer, who works for Koch Creative Group, says it was his fault the awards weren’t handled locally and that there’s no program this year.

“We passed off those responsibilities to the district because we didn’t really have the capabilities and the time to take care of it this year, so that’s kind of what happened,” he says. “I was busy with a lot of other organizations. … It does fall on me.”

Schafer says a small group of people put on the program last year.

There were 200 entries in 2012 and 64 this year.

“We really are kind of in a transition period,” Schafer says.

He says the awards aren’t the only issue for the club.

“We’ve had this problem where a couple of years ago, it really just kind of switched over to not having very many events and just having the ADDYs.”

Schafer says he would once again like to offer programs and speakers for club members.

There were 67 members last year. Schafer says he isn’t sure how many members there are this year because he hasn’t collected dues yet, and he doesn’t want to unless he has something to offer members in return.

Schafer says in addition to having more of a traditional club and events, he wants the awards to be handled locally as well.

“I would be happy to do it,” he says. “I do have more time now. … I will do whatever needs to be done to make it happen to make it work.”