By Rick Griffin

Four San Diego marketing firms were recently honored with national ADDY awards at the American Advertising Federation’s American Advertising Awards Show at the ADMERICA convention, recently held at the Disneyland Resort Hotel in Anaheim. All four received second-place silver awards.

Award recipients included Saint West Filmworks for “Go West” and i.d.e.a. for “Save the Inventor, Dream Small,” both in the cinematography category. In addition, Traina Design was recognized for “Traina Design Salud Coasters” in the advertising self-promotion specialty items category. Also, Wedge & Lever of Encinitas was honored in the book design category for “View From A Blue Moon” for their client, surfboard manufacturer Hurley International of Costa Mesa, Calif.

Four students from San Diego also received national silver student awards. They included Amjad Alotaibi, NewSchool of Architecture & Design, in the social media, single platform category, and three students from San Diego Portfolio Studio. They included Ryan Renquist and Rodney Manabat, both in the website category, and Brooke Lingenfelder in a category called guerrilla marketing, installations and events, campaign.

The American Advertising Federation is a national advertising trade organization representing more than 40,000 advertising professionals and 200 local clubs, including San Diego SDX, formerly the San Diego Ad Club. The federation’s national competition is regarded as the world’s largest and arguably the toughest advertising competition with more than 40,000 entries annually.

Local Emmy Award Winners Announced

The Pacific Southwest chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences recently presented 240 Emmy awards in 70 categories, culled from more than 900 entries, a record for entries (the previous total was 860).

Recipients included: KGTV/10News for its 11 a.m. weekday newscast and “Tragedy in San Bernardino” on its 11 p.m.weekday newscast; KNSD/NBC 7 San Diego for investigative reports on sexual harassment at SDSU and defrauding disabled people; KFMB for “Fugitive Arrest” on its 5 p.m. newscast; KPBS TV for “Remembering the Fall of Saigon” on its “Evening Edition” newscast.

Awards for on-camera talent went to: Kimberly Hunt and Joe Little, KGTV; Candice Nguyen, KNSD; Kris Budden and Mike Pomeranz, Fox Sports San Diego.

Total number of awards per station included: KNSD, 14; KGTV, nine; Fox Sports San Diego, seven; XETV, six; KFMB, three; KPBS, two; KSWB, one.

Judges also presented three awards to “Una Vez Mas,” a 70-minute documentary about Telemundo sportscaster and quadriplegic Humberto Gurmilan’s return to the ocean after a surfing accident nearly 20 years ago. For a complete list of winners, visit

Southwest Strategies Opens Sacramento Office

Public affairs firm Southwest Strategies has opened a Sacramento office to meet expanding client needs throughout Northern California, the Central Valley, Central Coast and Sacramento areas, announced Chris Wahl, president of the firm.

Chris Wahl

It’s the firm’s third office location and first in Northern California. Southwest also has offices in downtown San Diego and Fresno. The Fresno office opened three years ago and now has five employees, said Wahl, who founded Southwest Strategies with Alan Ziegaus in 2000.

“Southwest Strategies is dedicated to helping our clients achieve statewide success in challenging and complex environments that involve a variety of communications disciplines,” Wahl said in a statement. “With the establishment of our Sacramento office, we are well positioned to serve the expanding needs of our growing client base.”

Recent client projects have included support for San Diego Gas & Electric’s Sunrise Powerlink transmission line, Poseidon Water’s Carlsbad Desalination Project, Westfield Corporation’s UTC Shopping Center and the San Diego Association of Government’s 27-mile widening of Interstate 5.

“Southwest Strategies is privileged to represent a broad-base of outstanding clients that are making a profound difference in the quality of life for many Californians,” said Ziegaus.

Direct Marketers Using Competitive Intelligence

Jamie Smith

SD Direct, formerly the San Diego Direct Marketing Association, will host “A Guide to Better Results Using Competitive Intelligence,” a program on the best tools for competitor insights, from noon to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, June 21, at UCSD Extension, Room 317, 6256 Greenwich Drive in San Diego. Topics will include mobile spying strategies and how to monitor the industry, analyze competitor ads and landing page test results.

Speaker will be Jamie Smith, CEO of Campaign Watch, makers of a competitive intelligence software that assists using in gathering competitive data, respond to threats and discover new opportunities. With more than 20 years of experience in Internet marketing and software development, Smith has spoken to more than 37 industry conferences. He helped develop Index Tools, a web tracking analytics platform that was sold to Yahoo, and was on the leadership team at Engine Ready, a search engine marketing that was acquired in May 2013.

Cost to attend is $20 for members, $40 for guests and $12 for students. Lunch is included. To RSVP,

Taxpayers Association Honors Reporter for Uncovering Overtime Abuse

Lauryn Schroeder, a reporter with the San Diego Union-Tribune, was a winner last week of a Media Watchdog award from the San Diego County Taxpayers Association. Her story, “How one firefighter made $210K in OT,” helped uncover abuse of overtime rules by some city of San Diego firefighters.

In the initial story and follow-ups, Schroeder revealed that the city had failed to implement recommendations for overtime use by the City Auditor and had violated its own leave policy leading to a several million-dollar liability that would continue to grow, if uncorrected. As a result of the coverage, the city’s 2017 fiscal year budget includes previously unfulfilled auditor recommendations.

Rick Griffin

Rick Griffin is a San Diego-based public relations and marketing consultant. His MarketInk column appears weekly on Mondays in Times of San Diego.