By LaMonica Everett-Haynes
Club officers? Check.
Strong membership base? Check.
Proactive energy and ideas? Check.
In need of a marketing plan or advertisements? Not a problem. A new University of Arizona agency is opening for business to aid in such endeavors.
A dozen Eller College of Management students have just launched UA AdCats, an advertising agency with actual clients, budgets, and deadlines.
The impetus for the UA chapter dates back to 1985 when Edward E. Ackerley, who now teaches marketing at the Eller College, was president of the Tucson Ad Club. In working with the organization, he helped to found the UA Ad Club, which later became the UA chapter of the American Advertising Federation.
“This is a club, and a place for students interested in advertising, to gather and learn more about the industry,” says Ackerley, who will serve as the agency’s faculty mentor.
The chapter has led both to a new course, MKTG 293: Marketing Internship, and also the new agency, which will run as a club affiliated with the UA’s American Advertising Federation student chapter.
“We have been working with administration the last several months in securing the clearances, authorizations, and support to establish this entity,” Ackerley explains.
It’s taken Ackerley, Marketing Department head Robert Lusch, and others about a year to get the agency off the ground. The initiative generated strong support from UA alums Karl Eller, Phil Hagenah, and Lisle Payne.
UA AdCats has already received interest off campus, though the agency will work primarily with UA affiliates — departments, programs, student organizations, and others.
The student-run operation will be housed at Babcock 3205, where students will meet weekly to discuss business. Those involved will receive UA credit and be assigned to a range of positions — graphic designer, creative director, account director, public relations director, media coordinator, and office administrator among them.
“Personally, from going through the Marketing Department, I’ve seen a lot of students interested in advertising or public relations,” said Liz Tanori, the agency’s director and a UA senior majoring in marketing and visual communication.
Tanori and Ackerley envision the agency completing projects like developing marketing campaigns; designing websites, advertisements, logos, and other promotional material; and collaborating with the Associated Students of the UA.
“The benefit of having this particular organization is that it’s an opportunity to show students what these fields are really like,” Tanori said.
Ackerley noted that while Eller students interested in marketing and public relations have, in the past, held internships, having an internal option is a boon.
“This kind of completes, in a perfect circle, our ability to give students a range of options to get some hands-on experience,” he said. “This is going to be great to offer them an option and give them a superb sendoff into the marketplace.”