NAA Funds New Ad Program

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By: Jennifer Saba

In an effort to get advertising students interested in newspapers, the Newspaper Association of America will fund a new program at Virginia Commonwealth University’s Adcenter in Richmond.

The program will coincide with the 2004 ATHENA Awards for outstanding creativity in newspaper advertising. The grand prize of $50,000 will be donated to the university in the winner’s name. The money will be used towards scholarships and the new course.

The VCU Adcenter offers a two-year graduate level program where copywriters, art directors and strategic planners work together. The newspaper class will be offered twice a year. Students will be given an assignment of creating a newspaper ad and strategy. “Newspaper is a terrific medium and here’s an opportunity to understand it in an interesting way,” said Rick Boyko, managing director of VCU Adcenter. “[Newspaper] is not something that students gravitate to — it’s usually an afterthought. But this program is designed to push newspapers forward.”

The ATHENAs include four categories: general, classified and retail advertising as well as a student competition. Entries will be accepted until the April 2 deadline. There is no fee and work can be submitted at www.athenaawards.com. Finalists will be notified in June and the winners will be announced at an awards presentation in New York on Sept. 22.

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