San Diego Business Journal

In the advertising world, the favorite locations in the U.S. market are Los Angeles and New York City.

The San Diego Ad Club, under new leadership, is ready to break that stereotype.

Andreas Roell, who assumed the position of president some six months ago, is leading a board eager to prove that local agencies, both in the areas of advertising and marketing, can better compete on the national level in terms of new accounts and job opportunities.

At 95, the San Diego Ad Club is the region's oldest continuously operating business association.

As of this month, it has 327 members. Membership is up at the moment, but only slightly, Roell said. According to Roell, the club has been lumped in the category of just another local trade association.

"We need to have a purpose behind the Ad Club," Roell said. "Right now, San Diego is a cool, two-tier market from the outside, but that's it."

To attract more participation from older members while attracting new ones, the club has begun offering smaller, hands-on workshops.

In addition to smaller events, the club wants to organizer larger, albeit less frequent, events with notable speakers.

"The first goal is to make the Ad Club the premier industry group in the market," Roell said. He said that the only way to increase attendance is to be sure that the events are of value to members.

The club also plans to offer an online forum to let members search for help with a particular topic.

For example, someone could log on and ask if anyone is experienced in international marketing, youth demographics or any other topic pertaining to advertising.

At the Web site www.sandiegoadclub.com, Roell said plans are under way to post videos featuring interviews with some of San Diego's top advertising and marketing players.

Roell, who founded downtown San Diego-based Internet marketing company Geary Interactive in 2000, is one of 21 board members. About half are new.

"There's a group at the Ad Club now that is really ambitious and worth watching," Roell said.

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Account News: Sorrento Mesa-based marketing firm Townsend Inc. said it has been hired by Irvine-based Toshiba America Electronic Components Inc. to provide brand strategy and advertising services.

Townsend was founded in 1993, has 25 employees and reported revenues of $1.95 million last year.

Farther south in Golden Hill, Castle Advertising said that it has been retained by Quality Chevrolet to provide advertising and marketing services. Castle also said last month that it had been retained by Escondido Auto Park, in which Quality has its dealership.

Castle was founded in 1967. Employee and revenue information were not available.

Terms of the new accounts were not disclosed.

Send media and marketing news to Jessica Long at jlong@sdbj.com . She may also be reached at (858) 277-6359, ext. 3114.