Chairman's Report

February 2008

In an effort to help the puppy-buying public find responsible breeders of AKC registered puppies, the Board has approved a program whereby clubs can easily and proactively promote the AKC brand, AKC registration and AKC breeder referral through local classified advertising.

This initiative which we have dubbed, "Demand AKC Papers" asks clubs to place classified advertising, via newspapers, magazines, website or even billboards, in their hometown markets to drive potential pet owners to newly established AKC created websites such as www.demandakcpapers.com or www.puppybuyerinfo.com. These new sites offer all the information a puppy buyer could ever need and will work in tandem with traditional resources such as www.akc.org, a kennel club's own web site or local club breeder referral phone number as a way to educate the public about AKC and registration benefits. This program also offers a benefit to clubs in that it meets AKC educational requirements in part A of your club's event application.

For more than a century, generations of American consumers instinctively knew that "AKC papers" went hand-in-hand with a purebred pup from a responsible breeder. But in today's environment, it is no longer sufficient for us to assume that the average puppy buyer understands the value of the AKC in the dog ownership experience.

The puppy-buying public is bombarded with "papers" issued by dozens of other inferior registries with marketing ploys like similar looking initials, seals, logos, and even pedigrees based on AKC's stud book. Add to that the various new avenues of commerce they face, such as buying puppies from seductive web sites sight unseen it's no wonder that potential pet owners are confused and unaware of the real benefits of AKC registration.

Many proactive parent, specialty and all-breed clubs have already embraced this idea. For example, just recently the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of America, the American Rottweiler Club and the Golden Retriever Club of America, have taken out full page ads in the classified sections of glossy consumer dog magazines to tout the benefits of getting a purebred dog from parent club members. And I know that many more clubs routinely place small classified ads in their hometown papers to help local residents easily find a breeder in their community. It is this type of grass roots outreach that we feel can have a positive impact when implemented en masse all over the country, and that's why we are putting this initiative forward now and making it as simple as possible for clubs to participate. The "Demand AKC Papers" tool kit we provide at http://www.akc.org/clubs/club_communications.cfm includes sample ads and "how-to" instructions on reaching out to local media outlets to get the best price ad placement for your ad as a community non-profit.

Finally, we believe this program is a wonderful alternative for clubs that may not have the resources to meet some of the other educational requirements because they face challenges such as staffing large educational events or finding suitable sites. Working together is not only a win-win situation for AKC and its affiliated clubs but for the American public looking to add the healthiest and happiest newest member to their family. We want to ensure that the easiest way for them to guarantee a successful experience is to "demand AKC papers" when purchasing their next purebred puppy.

Sincerely,


Ron Menaker
Chairman