Zimmerman Advertising and University of South Florida Announce Nation's First Business And Communications Advertising Degree Programs

Jan 19, 2010, 11:15 ET from Zimmerman Advertising

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Jan. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Zimmerman Advertising is headed back to school – this time as the creator of a newly approved business advertising degree program at the University of South Florida.

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The move makes the nation's 14th-largest ad agency (according to Adweek) and the Tampa-based school the first in Florida and the only in the country to offer separate business and mass communications tracks for students pursuing an advertising degree.

"This is not only the creation of a much-needed discipline in the realm of business and communications academia. It's the actualization of a personal vision," said Jordan Zimmerman, Founder and Chairman of Zimmerman Advertising in Fort Lauderdale, who earned a Mass Communications degree from and studied for an MBA at USF. "I've been a long-time champion of such inter-disciplinary education for advertising majors. This enables students to pursue an advertising degree from two distinct academic perspectives. In that sense, it's a truly groundbreaking initiative."

The new program expands USF's existing Zimmerman Advertising Program into a collaborative effort between the USF College of Business and the School of Mass Communications in USF's College of Arts and Sciences. This new option allows undergraduate students to choose between a business-oriented sequence of study that emphasizes marketing, ROI, and core business education, and a mass communications sequence that focuses on advertising campaigns, creative and messaging, and media strategy. Students will emerge with the opportunity to combine their understanding of the creative aspects of advertising and brand management with skills in accounting, economics, finance, information systems and marketing.

"Several other U.S. university business schools offer an advertising major but no other U.S. university offers two complementary pathways for students to study advertising," said Robert Forsythe, dean of the USF College of Business. 

"Today's advertising firms do more than create artwork and advertisements; they assist clients with comprehensive promotional and corporate strategies and compete with firms that provide such services," Forsythe continued.  "Graduates who want to work for such firms must successfully integrate the creative aspects of advertising with the business purpose of the client."

"Today's graduates need to know how to do more than simply create visually appealing ads," said Zimmerman, whose firm employs his concept of "Brandtailing" to emphasize building a brand over time and sales overnight.  "Students need to be able to craft attention-getting, creative campaigns from a strategic, relevant positioning that enhances the client's long-term brand image, generates revenue and drives traffic that leads to profit."

Zimmerman Advertising will provide internships to some new students. Students also may be placed in internships at fellow agencies at Omnicom Group, the global advertising agency and Zimmerman's parent company.

Students choosing to pursue the new major can complete the degree with 120 credit hours, which will include all general education requirements, exit requirements, core classes, and a specified set of classes offered jointly by the business school and the mass communications program. Students may meet with academic advisors in the College of Business to discuss immediate enrollment in the program, but since registration for the university's spring semester has already closed, university officials don't expect to see students pursue the degree until the summer. 

Forsythe added that the new major would promote integrated interdisciplinary inquiry, research and innovation at the university. "As the only collaborative advertising major in Florida based in a college of business, the new program will support USF's overall strategic goals for student success and the strategic initiatives of the College of Business focused on teaching and community engagement."

About Zimmerman Advertising

Headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Zimmerman Advertising, an Omnicom Group™ company, is the country's leading national retail brand builder, and the 14th largest advertising agency in the United States according to Adweek, with more than 1,100 full-time associates and offices throughout the country, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas and Atlanta. For information on the agency, visit http://www.zadv.com. To learn more about Jordan Zimmerman, his business philosophies and opinions, visit his blogspot: www.yousleepwhenyoudie.com.

About Omnicom Group

Omnicom Group (NYSE: OMC) is a leading global marketing and corporate communications company. Omnicom's branded networks and numerous specialty firms provide advertising, strategic media planning and buying, direct and promotional marketing, public relations and other specialty communications services to over 5,000 clients in more than 100 countries.

SOURCE Zimmerman Advertising