During the spring of 1968, advertising professionals in the Tuscaloosa area developed a plan for the establishment of an advertising club. They called upon leaders of ad clubs in the region for assistance.
In the fall of that fall of that year, their work came to fruition when the club was chartered as the Greater Tuscaloosa Advertising Club and new officers were elected and installed. The charter meeting occurred either in September or October. The club’s first president was Russ Chapppell, who was associated with what was at that time Dan Kilgo & Associates, now Group One. An official roster for that year shows 33 members.
Meetings were more formal then than now and were held on the second Tuesday of each month.
During intervening years, the organization has prospered and waned and prospered again. The high point may have been in the late 1970′s, when Ted Turner spoke to a packed house, and the low point a few years earlier when a district governor installed new officers and directors with only 15 people in attendance.
The organization has endured, however. It has since seen three of its members elected as governor of the Seventh District of the American Advertising Federation, more than any other club its size in the Seventh District. The 1996-97 governor, Jimmy Warren, is currently serving as the District’s AAF Eastern Region Representative. Susan Tucker, the 2003-04 governor, served as chairman of the board. Michele Massey served as Lieutenant Governor of Club Services. The club conducted the district ADDY competition in 1980, 1996, and 2003. It hosted the district’s fall board meeting in the fall of 1989. It has also won national American Advertising Federation and Seventh District AAF Awards for its public service and advertising education.
Early in 1993, the club officially changed its name to Tuscaloosa Advertising Federation. Its name changed once more to the American Advertising Federation Tuscaloosa at the request of the national AAF organization as part of its national branding effort.