As the fourth convergence of Advertising Week begins in New York this week, what seems to be Topic A? The flight of ad dollars online? The effect of TiVo on television commercials? Try this: how prominent a role popular brand characters like Charlie the Tuna and the Geico cavemen should play in the annual event.
Since 2004, consumers have been asked each year to vote for their favorite characters to join a "Walk of Fame" on Madison Avenue. Among the nine icons elected so far: the Aflac duck, Mr. Peanut and Tony the Tiger. The first three years, organizers of Advertising Week also put on parades in Midtown that featured costumed versions of the nominated and winning characters.