On Monday trade publication Adweek unveiled its annual report cards that give a letter grade to most major American ad agencies for their overall performance during 2008. And the news was not at all good for at least three shops with major presences in Chicago.
The DDB network, which includes its flagship Chicago office, could do no better than a C+, while Leo Burnett, whose flagship office also is in Chicago, managed only a C. And with a C-, DraftFCB, which last week won the Miller Lite account, scored the lowest grade of the three major shops in Chicago. Cramer-Krasselt had the best -- though hardly stellar -- showing of any of the Chicago-centric agencies with a B-.
Still, the report cards (which included no "A" grade for any agency) are further evidence -- if any more were needed -- that all is not well in the ad industry. The grades they handed out should also indicate to Adweek editors that they might be well advised to focus more of their reporting efforts on what is going on inside ad agencies that has led to this decidedly lackluster set of marks.
Too much of the online editorial in both Adweek and its principal competitor Advertising Age nowadays is devoted to issues peripheral to the real business of advertising, which presumably is what both magazines were created to cover.