The WOMEN'S ADVERTISING CLUB (WAC) was an early Cleveland advocate of the role of women in the business world. In 1919 20 women, all employed in advertising for women's departments of the downtown department stores, clothing specialty shops, newspapers, and other advertising related businesses got together to establish the Women's Advertising Club. Two of those pioneers were later designated as the organization's official founders, Dorothy Messing and Fred Gordon. Florence Martin was the club's first president.

With the support of the then all-male CLEVELAND ADVERTISING CLUB, the new organization sought "to promote and encourage the work of women in the advertising field." It was also an affiliate of the American Advertising Federation. It tackled its commitment in a variety of ways. Over the years, WAC sponsored courses in advertising, held employment forums, raised money for scholarships, and sponsored internships in local advertising agencies, as well as essay and art contests to publicize and advance the place of women in the world of advertising. Among its more memorable efforts were biennial musical reviews, "Ad-ventures," which were female versions of the CITY CLUB OF CLEVELAND's ANVIL REVIEWs. The WAC also held a "Prints Charming" contest, the male advertising winner of which was made "honorary guest of honor" at the club's annual Printing Week dinner. Proceeds from these events went to charity. The WAC also donated the statue of Helen Keller for the Garden for the Blind at the Rockefeller Greenhouses.

WAC publicized its events and items of interest to those in advertising through its newsletter, Weathervane, which was published ten times a year. The club also recognized with a Silver Medal award the one member annually who had most contributed to the advancement of its agenda. The WAC disbanded in 1991.


Black, white and red text reading Western Reserve Historical Society

Finding aid for the Women's Advertising Club of Cleveland. WRHS.

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