2017 Symposium

Brands in Crisis: Authenticity, Relevance and the Quest for Safety


Keynote Presentation:

Scott Hagedorn, CEO, Hearts & Science

Symposium Description

The 2017 AEF Symposium will focus on brands in crisis at a time when alternate facts and fake news are making consumers more distrustful than ever. Brand safety has become a huge issue as some brands have made dangerous missteps, brands can be hijacked and mashed up and new disruptive brands are offering attractive alternatives to classic brands. Brands need to be more vigilant than ever in reaching out to their audiences, to drive and build powerful and lasting relationships with them. Mass media is dead. Media reflect what different audiences believe. And, personal media choices have become much more important than brand messages.

So, how can brands best connect with their audiences today? Where can we find them? What media should we use? How can we create advertising that consumers want to engage with rather than block? How can we ensure that messaging is on-brand, compelling to our audiences and connect in ways that build brand loyalty every day and in every way?

We are at an inflection point in marketing with new tools and platforms coming on stream all the time. Content Marketing, Programmatic Buying, Crowdsourcing, Social and Digital engagement are transforming how we advertise. Fake news and alternative facts are making all messaging suspect. And interruptive advertising is just that, interruptive and annoying.

This workshop will explore the various dilemmas of effective brand marketing today. With a keynote address and panel of experts we will explore and extend best practices and formulas for brand success today and tomorrow. We will explore the problems and pitfalls in brand marketing and advertising and optimal strategies and tactics for avoiding business missteps or disasters. Attendees will emerge from the session with new ideas and methods they can adopt immediately to protect their brands and compete most effectively in this new world of marketing.


Part 1: Brands in Crisis – Forces of Change: “The Unreachables”
Topic intro to be followed by a table exercise for participants then Keynote presentation and Q&A
Paul Kurnit, Pace University and PS Insights
Scott Hagedorn, Hearts & Science

Part 2: Brands in Crisis – Truth About America
Research on brand mistrust in America then panel presentations and Q&A about remedies for brand trust marketing practices
Paul Kurnit, Pace University and PS Insights
Arvind Raman, McCann Truth Central
Erik Geisler, Facebook
Prof. George Newman, Yale University
Scott Hagedorn, Hearts & Science

Held as a conference kickoff session at the ANA’s Masters of Marketing.
Date: October 4, 2017
Time: 2:00 – 4:15p.m.
Venue: Marriott Orlando World Center, Orlando, FL

Students and professors are able to attend AEF’s event for free with school ID.

View participant bios >>

"Our future marketing and advertising leaders are not just looking for a job, they are looking for a meaningful career that will make a positive impact on society."
— Gord McLean, President and CEO at ANA Educational Foundation