Chicago Sun-Times
Lewis Lazare follows Chicago media and marketing news

Has Chicago Creative Partnership folded its tent?


Has Chicago Creative Partnership become the latest casualty of the sharp downturn in fortunes among many Chicago ad agencies? The central phone line was answered by a recording on Monday, and a message left for CCP CEO Anne Cox was not returned. Creative Director Don Nelson was no longer recognized by the automated office directory.

Sources say the agency had decided to close its doors after recently losing its flagship account, the Bob Evans restaurant chain. Sources also had told us a while ago that the Bob Evans account was quietly being put in review. As soon as we heard the news, we knew it didn't bode well for CCP, which had not been aggressively pulling in new business in recent times.

According to a brief history at CCP's Web site (which was still up Monday), the agency opened around 20 years ago, and its offices at 314 W. Superior were "down the street from Vince Vaughn's condo and around the corner from Senior Presidential Advisor David Axelrod's office, which makes for some pretty crazy block parties."

Perhaps more tellingly, the agency history went on to note that CCP is/was an independently-owned shop and that "if someone thinks we should get a pool table for the office or this Monday will be Pajama Day at work, that's gonna happen, too." Not sure what any of that has to do with establishing CCP's creative capabilities, but maybe that's why the shop could be calling it quits.


Sadly, I heard from reliable source the agency will close it's doors on or after the first of the year. I think the loss of Bob Evans had much to do with the decision.

Yes, CCP is closing due to Bob Evans leaving the agency.

It is unfortunate, as a sort of de-facto spokesperson for the Chicago ad industry, that Mr. Lazare showed no interest in CCP until two months after the decision to close was made. It's also too bad that his current journalistic efforts involved nothing more a phone call and a trip to CCP's "About Us" page. I would hope an "insider" would have better personal connections with the industry he covers.

When the agency was winning clients and writing press releases, our bow-tied friend was entirely without comment. When the agency closes, he shows up at the funeral to critique the coffin.

It almost seems like Mr. Lazare is becoming aware of CCP for the first time, yet he feigns insight into why the agency fell. There may have been reasons for CCP "calling it quits", but they can't be found on Google or in the phone book.

While it saddens me to see a small, independent shop like CCP go to the wolves, I had heard from a number of sources that management there operated in strange ways and often made bizarre hiring & firing decisions (usually on the spur of the moment). Needless to say, it was not a happy place where people felt safe or secure.

I agree with Dan's comments about Lazare's coverage of the ad industry in general. I have often credited Lew with the metaphorical act of pouring the gasoline on the already smoldering fire that took down the local JWT office. His columns reeked of personal vendetta. It's too bad that the effects of which had to spread across the lives of 200+ people.

While he's been trusted with the duty of covering the ad beat in this town, his unique approach to this begins by channeling the likes of Perez Hilton or the staff of TMZ. The question is valid that we might be better served instead by somebody with a business sense and fascination for the industry, rather than somebody who can't wait to expose all of its peccadillos. It's clear to many that Lew truly wants to be a gossip columnist in the worst possible way (and he might actually do a fine job at that). And yet unfortunately for both him and for us in the ad industry, this was the only gig they had open at the time.

Of all the people I have dealt with over there, I will miss Tess Zych. She was a true professional and I hope someone snaps her up quick.

If youget this Tess, please call me to see if I canhelp you. Thanks for all you did for BIG Media Sales.

Patrick Grady

I am constantly amazed how out of touch you are, Lew. As the previous reviewer said, you know nothing about most of the agencies in town, yet when one goes under you're more than happy to gossip like a housewife about their demise.

Hey, who cares if 30 people are out of work? You have a punchline!

Your irrelevancy continues.


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About the blogger

Lewis Lazare has written the Media Mix column for the Chicago Sun-Times for the past seven and a half years.

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This page contains a single entry by Lewis Lazare published on November 23, 2009 4:16 PM.

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