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

February 2010 Archives

This just in. Now that America's hockey team has advanced to the Olympic gold medal game on Sunday, the Chicago Blackhawks have unveiled a new 30-second TV spot (developed in-house) that they intend to run during the gold medal game telecast. It's a simple spot (always best!) that is a montage of images of all the Blackhawks players who are part of the Olympic hockey competition. At the end of the spot a few lines of copy appear on the screen: "Our players. Big stage. We're proud." The understated, yet melodic musical underscoring adds some emotional heft to the simple cavalcade of images.

Century Tile, the largest retailer of tile in the metro Chicago area, has selected the Monogram Group/Chicago as its agency of record. Monogram will now develop a new measurable marketing program for Century Tile to increase sales and strengthen the brand's awareness in the marketplace.

Century Tile has 12 store stores in the market. "Our strategic goals include identifying and facilitating co-promotion partnerships and refreshing the face of Century to ultimately increase co-op marketing dollars from their vendors," said Scott Markman, president of the Monogram Group. Elaine Carlson of Century Tile said of Monogram: "Their impressive creative work and past experience rose above the rest" during a three-month-long agency review.

Blake Ebel_Pref.jpgBlake Ebel, co-chief creative officer at Euro RSCG/Chicago, has been selected to sit on Press Jury for the upcoming 57th annual Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival in June. Leo Burnett worldwide chief creative officer Mark Tutssel is heading the jury that will evaluate print ad submissions. At Euro RSCG, Ebel oversees the agency's creative product in partnership wtih Steffan Postaer. Ebel has been with the shop for more than six years.

PCC_Web Screen Shot 2010.jpgThe Publicity Club of Chicago was set to launch a new brand logo and expanded, redesigned Web site on Monday, but a representative from the organization has just informed us the launch has been indefinitely delayed so more functionalities can be added.

When it does launch, the new Web site will target the organization's members and non-members whose expertise and training is in media relations, public relations and marketing. The online industry newsletter "Dateline" and the career resource "Jobs In PR" remain highlights of the site, and they are prominently displayed. Other features of the redesign include simpler navigation and content aggregation, an "Insider" blog, social networking outlets and video updates on organizational activities. "The redesigned Web site better reflects the prestigious leadership position the Publicity Club of Chicago plays in the Chicago PR and communications industry," said David Bosch, PCC president. The redesigned site features creative design work and Web site development by the Gammon Group in Joliet.

Roe Conn signs new deal with WLS-AM

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Roe Conn has signed a new contract at WLS-AM (890) that will keep him the host of the politically-conservative radio station's afternoon drive show at least through the end of 2011. Conn's new contract comes despite his show having shown little strength in recent months in the key 25 to 54 adult demo in the Arbitron ratings. In the most recent January ratings book, Conn ranked a disappointing 23rd in afternoon drive.

In announcing Conn's new contract, WLS-AM general manager Michael Damsky said Conn adds a "dimension of leadership and continuity" to the staff that is critical at any radio station. But one detail left out of the contract announcement was any mention of Conn's salary under the new deal. A source close to developments told us Conn's base salary in the new contract is in the neighborhood of $250,000 a year, but Damsky insists it is significantly more than that. When the radio business was in much better shape financially, Conn was one of Chicago's so-called million-dollar mouths in the industry. But that select group of radio talent has shrunk dramatically just in the past year.

Damsky and his new operations director Drew Hayes are working feverishly behind the scenes to give Conn's show a lift. They began by adding Cisco Cotto as Conn's co-host in January, but then quickly moved Cotto to a mid-morning slot. Now possible new co-hosts and/or sidekicks are being given a chance to work with Conn now, and in the near future, Conn is expected to have another partner to work with. Other tweaks and talent additions could come in the weeks and months ahead. But Damsky seems confident, at this juncture, that Conn's show will make a comeback in the ratings.

The 2010 Chicago White Sox season on Comcast SportsNet Chicago will include 101 live regular season games, including the season and home opener against the Cleveland Indians on April 5. CSNC also will air the season road opener on April 12, against the Toronto Blue Jays. For the second season, Steve Stone will provide television color commentary alongside play-by-play announcer Ken "Hawk" Harrelson. For the third straight season, CSNC will produce every White Sox regular home and road game in high definition.

Best wishes for a speedy recovery to CBS-owned WBBM-Channel 2 reporter Derrick Blakley, who has taken a medical leave of absence from the station while he is treated for multiple myeloma, a cancer of the bone marrow. In an email to his colleagues at Channel 2, Blakley said he will undergo chemotherapy and eventually a stem cell transplant -- procedures that will require time in the hospital and away from work.

She may have the most devoted fan base in all of Chicago broadcasting, and now all of former radio host Melissa Forman's followers can rejoice that she will be filling in for the next month for Jeanne Sparrow as host of WCIU-Channel 26's innovative morning show "You & Me This Morning." Sparrow is taking a short-term medical leave of absence and expects to return to the show in late March. Forman had previously done two stints as a host on Clear Channel Radio Chicago's WLIT-FM (93.9). Her contract was not renewed last summer. "Melissa has deep roots in chicago and will do a great job hosting 'You & Me This Morning' while I'm gone," said Sparrow.

Tom OKeefe.jpgHe's certainly paid his dues within Foote, Cone & Belding -- and DraftFCB/Chicago, so it should come as no surprise that veteran creative leader Tom O'Keefe should now be rewarded with the new job of DraftFCB's executive creative director for North America. O'Keefe most recently was ECD for DraftFCB's Chicago and west coast operations.

The expanded job responsibilities will, most importantly, give O'Keefe oversight of the agency's New York operations as well. O'Keefe will continue to oversee the agency's Yum! Brands business, a high-profile account and one with which O'Keefe has been closely involved for many years.

O'Keefe joined FCB more than 18 years ago, and spent considerable time in both its Chicago and San Francisco outposts. He helped make Taco Bell's "Think Outside the Bun" one of the most memorable and effective taglines of recent vintage.

"Tom Has energy, passion and the ability to recognize, with an almost uncanny sensibility, a great idea," said Jonathan Harries, DraftFCB's global chief creative officer. In his new role, O'Keefe is expected to work closely with DraftFCB North American president Mark Modesto.

"We must move boldly and promptly." So wrote ABC News President David Westin in a remarkably candid memo to his news organization on Tuesday. The memo, in essence, told ABC News staff that his respected network news operation must "embrace what is new, rather than being overwhelmed by it." Westin was referring to the advent of the digital age in the news industry -- a sea change that Westin said "makes our business more competitive than its ever been."

From there, Westin's memo went on to detail how he intends to change the way ABC News operates. The memo made it sound as if ABC News is about to experience the same kind of wrenching change that resulted last year in a very different way of producing newscasts at NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5 here in Chicago.

Westin said ABC News will expand its use of digital journalists, and editorial staff will shoot and edit their own material. Westin also said there will be extensive training in new technology. But for many staffers, Westin's most unsettling words no doubt came near the end of the memo when he wrote that "many job descriptions will be different, different skill sets may be required, and, yes, we will likely have substantially fewer people on staff at ABC News."

Will this new way of doing business at ABC News filter down to WLS-Channel 7, which is also owned by ABC News parent the Walt Disney Co. "The changes at ABC News will have no impact on us for the foreseeable future," said WLS general manager Emily Barr, adding "Channel 7 operates completely independently of the ABC network news organization."

Chris Newman_Euro RSCG Chicago.jpgHe's a man on a mission. And that mission -- to dispel the misconception that direct mail pieces are dull -- has landed Euro RSCG/Chicago senior art director Chris Newman on trade publication DM News's new "30 Under 30" list. In citing him for the honor, DM News said Newman excels at translating a corporate message into direct mail creative. While at Euro RSCG, Newman has worked with clients ranging from Sprint to Kraft Foods and Effen vodka, while doing pro bono work for Chicago's Off the Street Club, an after-school program for inner city youth, and Cookies for Comfort, a not-for-profit that helps cancer patients. One of his most successful pieces of creative incorporated peanut butter and jelly in a promotion for Sprint. The Sprint piece reportedly generated a generous 10.5 percent response rate.

Monday marked the second anniversary of the suicide of Paul Tilley, the DDB/Chicago chief creative officer who jumped to his death from a Fairmont Hotel guest room in Chicago. That event, to say the least, stunned and paralyzed DDB, an agency that had, even then, been in difficult straits for some time. Now two years on, sources say, DDB could move as early as this week to grapple with a situation that has gone from bad to worse to untenable.

One possible course of action has DDB merging with Tribal DDB to form some sort of new media entity that can -- so the spin would go -- better address the new realities of a changed advertising industry. Truth be told, both DDB/Chicago and Tribal DDB/Chicago have lost a lot of their luster and billings in recent years, but from an image standpoint, the damage has been far worse at DDB.

It remains to be seen where DDB/Chicago leader Rick Carpenter is when all the dust has settled. Observers agree his two-and-a-half-year tenure as DDB/Chicago's leader has been nothing short of disastrous. Whatever change is coming to DDB, it likely will include changes at the top.

Marc Washington has been named executive producer of "Tony Sculfield & the Morning Riot" on urban contemporary WGCI-FM (107.5). Most recently, Washington was the local producer for "The Doug Banks Show" on WVAZ-FM (102.7) and served as programming assistant and guest mixer for the station.

Washington joined WVAZ in 2005, and has worked in a variety of positions there. A native of Chicago's south side, Washington has owned his own DJ/production company, Marcomusik, since 1999. "Washington is a unique talent with a brilliant programming mind," said Derrick Brown, Clear Channel Radio Chicago director of urban programming, adding, "he is the one to cultivate and harness 'Tony Sculfield & the Morning Riot' content and deliver it in a concise, compelling manner."

Spokeswoman Cathy Carl exits DDB

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Just when DDB/Chicago would appear to need it the most, the agency's public relations department is in shambles. Amy Cheronis, the long-time public relations maven at the shop, defected to Leo Burnett last month -- sparking rumbles that she, as a well-connected, high-level insider, knew enough about where things were headed at DDB, to get out before the ship had completely sunk.

In the wake of Cheronis's sudden departure, Cathy Carl was named to succeed Cheronis, who had orchestrated public relations not only for Chicago but the rest of DDB's American outposts. But sources now say that after only a few weeks on the job, Carl, who was based in DDB's Seattle office, has exited the agency as well. A call to Carl's cell phone was not returned.

Veteran smooth jazz radio personality Loni Taylor has been tapped to host a new evening jazz show called "Chicago After Hours" on WLFM-FM (87.7) from 7 p.m. to midnight on weeknights. Taylor previously was the afternoon drive host from 1994 through 2001 on WNUA-FM (95.5) during a period when it was a smooth jazz outlet. A family illness forced Taylor to move back to her native Philadelphia in 2001. "She's a true fan of the music, in addition to being a solid pro," said Rick O'Dell, program director and host at WLFM-FM. "I'm absolutely elated to be back on the airwaves in Chicago," said Taylor

How much grimmer can it get? This week's staff purge at DDB/Chicago -- some two dozen creatives our sources are reporting -- is but the latest sign that the DDB we once knew is rapidly becoming a thing of the past.

The exit of so many people from DDB's rudderless creative department suggests, at the very least, that this agency -- if it survives -- is going to be something far different than the creatively-driven ad agency it was known to be for decades. Our sources report that creatives still at DDB and those exiting the shop have characterized the place as a sinking ship. No surprise there, except for how long that's sadly been the case. Imagine how much a few strong leaders with a vision could have done to change the course of things.

Our sources say it's still likely there will be a major shakeout in DDB's Anheuser-Busch account, which could be split between DDB's New York and San Francisco shops if they hang on to the business. Minus most or all of that flagship beer account and a huge chunk of its creative department, DDB/Chicago could be prepping for a merger with
Tribal DDB's Chicago outpost to create some sort of new media shop -- the type of operation that (whether true or not) some clients supposedly want to do business with nowadays. Well-respected David Hernandez, who a year ago became managing director and executive creative director at Tribal DDB/Chicago, could be well-positioned to take the helm of whatever kind of creative department remains after the units are merged.

All of this upheaval comes just days before the second anniversary of the suicide of Paul Tilley, the DDB chief creative officer who jumped to his death from a room at the Fairmont Hotel.

Bill Tourlas headshot.JPGBill Tourlas has been appointed director of client services (a new position) at Fathom Communications/Chicago. He reports directly to Mark Leger, managing director at Fathom. Tourlas will be responsible for all client activity across Fathom's Chicago office and will lead the development and support of account service teams. Tourlas will serve as the account lead on the agency's International/Navistar business. He also will focus on new business development. Most recently, Tourlas was a group account director at Euro RSCG/Chicago, where he was responsible for work on the shop's Citi and Western Union accounts. Prior to Euro RSCG, Tourlas was a senior partner and management director at JWT.

The Izod IndyCar Series has selected GolinHarris as agency of record to work with sponsors, teams and drivers to re-energize the sport of open wheel racing. The agency will focus efforts in the areas of media relations, special events promotion and social media during the 2010 racing season, which kicks of on March 14, in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

The partnership begins immediately and will be led out of GolinHarris's headquarters in Chicago by Molly Currey, a vice-president with the PR firm. "Our goal is to make our drivers stars in the mainstream landscape, and the hiring of GolinHarris is one of the first steps in doing so," said Terry Angstadt, president of the commercial division for the Indy Racing League.

Following a review, ESW Partners/Chicago has been named agency of record for Blue Chip Casino, Hotel & Spa in Michigan City, Ind. ESW will be assisting Blue Chip with all branding work. The Blue Chip win is part of ESW's effort to establish a major foothold in the casino branding business.

"Blue Chip is much more than a casino," said Jim Signorelli, the CEO at ESW. "It's a resort destination serving the Midwest with a service ethic next to none," added Signorelli.
The Blue Chip win comes as ESW Partners caps off its 10th year, with double-digit increases in revenue and profits reported. ESW was recently named to the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing independent companies in the United States.

DraftFCB/Chicago has been named customer relationship management agency of record for Volkswagen of America. DraftFCB will work with Interpublic Group sibling agency Deutsch/Los Angeles to help Volkswagen achieve its growth goals in the United States. Deutsch has been the general market agency of record for Volkswagen in the United States since October, 2009. DraftFCB won the CRM business following an extensive review and will replace duties previously handled by Crispin Porter + Bogusky and Euro RSCG Worldwide, effective immediately.

Tim Ellis, Volkswagen vice-president of marketing, said DraftFCB "demonstrated not only their ability to deliver solid strategic and data driven thinking, but also strong creative ideas, like the ones consumers have come to expect from Volkswagen."

The American Bar Association has named Ogilvy & Mather/Chicago as its agency of record following a review that included one other finalist. The ABA will work with Ogilvy to support a broad array of marketing outreach programs designed to expand its membership activities. "Ogilvy & Mather/Chicago came to our attention because of their success with the American Medical Association," explained Carolyn Lamm, president of the ABA, adding "they understand the corporate structure and needs of an Association such as the ABA and know how to build successful member outreach programs that cross multiple communications channels." Ogilvy recently was award the integrated marketing accounts for American Family Insurance and CDW, which it handles in conjunction with Ogilvy & Mather/New York.

Jay Kelly, a familiar face in the world of entertainment public relations in Chicago, has joined L.C. Williams & Associates/Chicago as a vice-president charged with launching an arts and leisure practice at the PR firm. Kelly most recently fronted the public relations effort at Victory Gardens Theater, but over the years he has worked with a number of local arts institutions ranging from Lookingglass Theatre Co. to Court Theatre, Northlight Theatre and the League of Chicago Theatres.

Kelly already has brought the Victory Gardens public relations account in to the L.C.Williams fold, along with Thodos Dance Chicago and Theater Wit. He hopes to add to that roster as word spreads of his new role at L.C. Williams.

StayWell Custom Communications, a division of MediMedia USA, has tapped Tom, Dick & Harry/Chicago, for a re-branding effort. StayWell serves hundreds of clients representing several channels in the healthcare industry, including hospitals and health systems, health plans, employers and retail pharmacies. SCC has offices in Evanston, Salt Lake City and Yardley, Pa.

In a review that began last year, TD&H bested more than a dozen agencies to get the assignment. Noted Bob Volkman, TD&H creative partner: "A lot of our new business comes via referrals from people we've worked with before, and in this case we were initially recommended by a former colleague. There's always a little added pressure to do well when someone you know is counting on you."

nhl7.jpgThey apparently really get what hockey is all about at Versus. During the season, the Versus cable channel airs a number of NHL hockey games and Stanley Cup playoffs

To whet the public's appetite for watching hockey when the regular season resumes in March, Versus is debuting a new commercial developed in-house called "Make It Happen" that will air during Olympic hockey telecasts on NBC and various of its sibling cable channels. TV viewers will see a 30-second version of the commercial.

But the long-form, 60-second iteration is available on YouTube.com. As those who check it out will note, the longer version does a fabulous job of projecting the visceral excitement of hockey and the intense fascination with -- and love of -- the sport shared by the game's true fans.

"Make It Happen" was directed by Brett Morgen, who most recently helmed "Truth in Motion: The U.S. Ski Team's Road to Vancouver," a documentary about the United States's ski team and its preparations for the 2010 Winter Games that debuted on NBC on Jan. 30. Morgen obviously has a great feel for film and a talent for creating dramatic tension using the medium.

The Chicago Blackhawks could use a spot like "Make It Happen" to pull in more fans -- not that they don't have plenty already. The current crop of Hawks commercials with players skating up to a microphone and saying a line or two are okay, but they hardly begin to convey the full scope of what makes the team and the game they play so compelling. Especially in this season, when the Hawks look to be a serious contender for the Stanley Cup.

Jay_Lenstrom_3.JPGFormer Omnicom Group vice-chairman and CEO of Omnicom Asia Pacific Michael Birkin has formed the Red Peak Group, a global marketing services company with offices in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and London. Red Peak's core competencies include brand consulting and design expertise. The firm's first client is Intel.

Chicago-based Jay Lenstrom, recently CEO of Radiate Group, has been named CEO of the Rd Peak Group, as well as CEO of RPMC, an experiential and sponsorship marketing company that is part of the Red Peak portfolio. "I'm thrilled to join Michael and the Red Peak Group to chart a new course in experiential marketing," said Lenstrom.

Other principals with Red Peak include Murray Schwartz, founder of RPMC, who will serve as chief strategist, and Stewart Devlin, formerly creative director at The Partners, who joins as chief creative officer.

Biba Visits Euro RSCG Chicago.jpgThey've been feeling their Wheaties over at Euro RSCG/Chicago. Yes indeedy. When the creative geniuses there aren't intently working on new ads that positively ooze creativity and salesmanship, they've been conducting their very own table tennis tournament that they've dubbed "Paddle Royale." Remember this is the crowd that only recently returned from a little confab in that way-out-of-the-way outpost called Miami Beach.

But we digress. The tournament involves no fewer than 64 staffers at the agency -- all with varying degrees of skill at table tennis, as you might imagine. But by the time the tournament reaches its conclusion in mid-March, a winner will have been crowned. There will be no trophy, we're told, and no cash prize. Just the satisfaction of having beat 63 other contenders. FYI: An informal sponsor of Euro's table tennis tourney is Killerspin, a Chicago-based manufacturer of table tennis equipment. Killerspin even arranged for two top table tennis players -- Biba and Lupi (cute, huh?) -- to stop by the agency and offer some tips on how to play the game like a champion.

FDR - Family Table.jpgRecently-arrived Leo Burnett/Chicago chief creative officer Susan Credle's big moment really is almost here. An Allstate commercial called "Nothing To Fear," the first major TV spot she has fully shepherded to completion at her new professional home, is supposed to appear for the first time during the fourth commercial break on NBC's telecast of the opening ceremonies of the Vancouver Winter Olympics. That means the 30-second spot should air between 7:10 and 7:15 p.m. here in Chicago, we're told. We've taken a look at the commercial in advance of its premiere, and we'll have more to say about it in our column in Monday's Sun-Times. In the meantime, have a look for yourself at the spot tonight and see what you think. It's a taste of what's happening at the dawn of a new era at Leo Burnett.

PX207_7B6B_7.JPGFriday night will be a big night for Susan Credle, Leo Burnett/Chicago's relatively new chief creative officer. It will mark the debut of the first major commercial she has overseen from start to finish since arriving at Burnett in early October. It's an Allstate execution with actor Dennis Haysbert that will debut during the Vancouver Winter Olympics opening ceremonies on NBC. A lot of effort went into the development and creation of this spot. It was even being re-edited as late as Wednesday. Like it or not, the Allstate effort should say a lot about what kind of creative standard Credle will adhere to as she attempts to remold Burnett into more of a creative force than it has been in recent years.

statue_face.0001.jpgThings will be very black and white in the new Chicago White Sox advertising campaign for the 2010 season from Energy BBDO. The campaign theme line is "White Sox Baseball. It's Black and White." The first TV spot of the year, "Prepare," debuts Friday. It features some stark black and white imagery of U.S. Cellular Field well photographed by Russell Harper of Dictionary Films. The voiceover announcer in the spot talks about what various members of the White Sox organization are doing as they await the start of spring training and the season itself. A. J. Pierzynski is doing squats in Florida, while Mark Buehrle is studying tape in Missouri and Ozzie Guillen is in Venezuela on a conference call with Kenny Williams. The spot ends with an image of the 2005 World Championship flag flapping in the wind -- a reminder of the White Sox remarkable accomplishments that year. "In part, we wanted this spot to remind viewers that hope springs eternal," said Energy BBDO Chief Creative Officer Dan Fietsam. Especially in the spring for baseball fans.

Mark Smithe Ice Fishing.jpgWe've come to expect the delightfully unexpected from the the Smithe brothers of furniture empire fame, at least when it comes to their advertising initiatives. And their newest spot, set to debut during the Vancouver Winter Olympics opening ceremonies Friday night, is indeed just that. Rather than fashion a new commercial around a sport that has a high profile in the winter Olympics, the Smithes chose curling, which many Chicagoans probably know little or nothing about.

Not that the new Smithe furniture spot will help explain the sport to viewers. But it will give Chicagoans ample opportunity to watch the Smithe brothers act up on ice, which is where the sport of curling is played. There are lots of plays on words in the ad's script, which Tim Smithe, the marketing guru among the the three brothers, no doubt had a hand in crafting. And there's even a reference to that most au courant of topics -- Asian carp. The Smithe's veteran ad production executive Bill O'Neil has done his usual expert job of making the spot look great too.

The Dow Chemical Co. has named DraftFCB/Chicago agency of record for Dow Solar Solutions. DraftFCB has handled the Dow corporate account for nearly four years, but this new assignment is the first for one of Dow's business units. Dow Solar Solutions will bring to market an innovative solar shingle that can be integrated into rooftops with standard asphalt shingle materials. The new product is expected to be available on a limited basis by mid-2010. "Dow's goal is to make solar power as common as indoor plumbing or electricity, and we're thrilled to be their partners in helping to build a culture of environmental sustainability," said DraftFCB North American president Mark Modesto.

Just in time for Valentine's Day, sources have confirmed that SchaferCondonCarter/Chicago has picked up a sweet piece of candy business, Round Lake, Mn.-based Farley's & Sathers. An SCC spokeswoman referred inquiries to the client.

The Minnesota company's candy brands include Brach's and Trolli, which may be the two particular brands on which SCC will be asked to focus their marketing expertise.

F & S makes a nice addition to the SCC client roster, which also includes Rotary International, Armour Eckrich, Brunswick and Buffets Inc. SCC touts itself as Chicago's top independent mid-size advertising agency, which puts it in the same league, we suppose, with Cramer-Krasselt.

DiMeo & Co./Chicago is shutting down

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Now we know things are really bad in the Chicago ad industry. Bernie DiMeo, one of the most colorful members of the local ad community for the past 22 years, said Monday he is in the process of shutting down his ad shop, DiMeo & Co./Chicago, which for most of last year employed a staff of 11. DiMeo said the revenue stream simply wasn't strong enough to justify carrying on. "Things hadn't been good for a while," said DiMeo.

The biggest blow apparently came about 16 months ago with the loss of the local Popeyes restaurant co-op account. Though there had been the occasional new business win since then, they weren't enough to make up for a big loss. For the past 16 years, DiMeo also was the agency of record for the Chicago Bulls. Steve Schanwald, executive vice-president, business operations for the Bulls, said that in the short term, the plan is keep the Bulls advertising account in-house. "Long term, we'll see," added Schanwald.

DiMeo said he expects to remain connected to the advertising and public relations industries in some fashion, but he is still sorting out what he wants to do and how he wants to do it. "I should know in about 60 days," he said. In the heyday of DiMeo & Co., no adman embodied the fun spirit of the good ol' days more than Bernie DiMeo. He knew a good party when he threw one, and he was as adept at self-promotion as he was at the art and craft of promoting clients.

But in the end, all the fun stuff couldn't pay the bills. We doubt anyone will come along anytime soon that can match Bernie's joie de vivre. A loss indeed.

Is DDB/Chicago about to suffer its biggest blow yet? Sources close to developments say the Chicago agency may be about to say goodbye to two of its most important, high-profile and lucrative brands: Bud Light and Budweiser.

Sources say plans may be in the works to move the Bud Light business to DDB's San Francisco office and the Budweiser account to DDB's New York outpost, which would leave the Chicago office with next to no Anheuser-Busch business. Those east and west coast shops could have -- or have access to -- the creative firepower to give the accounts the jolt the Chicago shop hasn't been able to of late. A DDB spokeswoman could not be immediately reached for comment.

Plus, DDB reportedly has just parted ways with Steve Jackson, a top-level global account person on the Anheuser-Busch business. Jackson had worked on the A-B business at DDB for more than 20 years. Jackson's departure is viewed as another sign that all is not well with DDB's relationship with Anheuser-Busch.

Word of these developments comes just days before Super Bowl Sunday -- which traditionally has been one of DDB/Chicago's biggest days. For years, the agency typically provided multiple Bud Light and Budweiser Super Bowl spots. But for the first time in memory, DDB/Chicago was shut out of the Bud Light Super Bowl line-up altogether because its work did not score high enough in focus group testing.

And there were even problems with the Budweiser work. A DDB/Chicago Clydesdale spot had to be re-edited, and the public had to vote to put the commercial in the Super Bowl, before Anheuser-Busch would add it to the line-up for the game.

Moving the Bud Light account to San Francisco could be part of DDB's and parent Omnicom Group's last-ditch effort to hold on to its lucrative Anheuser-Busch business. That business is no longer as lucrative as it once was, but it still provides significant income for the shop. A-B business that once brought in close to $20 million annually for DDB/Chicago is now worth about $6 million to the agency, sources say.

By all accounts, DDB/Chicago's hold on the A-B business grew considerably more tenuous after the brewery's chief creative officer Bob Lachky exited a year ago. The former DDB executive was in charge of deciding what creative from which agencies the brewery would use, and he always seemed to take care of DDB.

However things play out with Anheuser-Busch, DDB/Chicago still has other major issues to tackle, chief among them a glaring absence of new business even as big chunks continue to exit the shop. And nearly two years after chief creative officer Paul Tilley jumped to his death, DDB/Chicago leader Rick Carpenter has yet to find a new chief creative officer. With each passing day the question looms ever larger: Is it even possible to get one now with the agency in its current state?

U.S. Cellular, the nation's fifth-largest wireless carrier, has named Lapiz/Chicago its Hispanic agency of record. U.S. Cellular was looking for a strategic partner to help them best define and segment their Hispanic customers. Lapiz also is based in Chicago, U.S. Cellular's biggest market.

As Hispanic agency of record, Lapiz, a division of Leo Burnett, will be responsible for strategy and creative related to overall branding for U.S. Cellular, as well as specific promotional advertising targeting the United States Hispanic audience. "In looking for a strategic partner to support its brand within the Hispanic community, U.S. Cellular recognized similar company values in our approach to putting a brand's purpose at the center of communication," said Dolores Kunda, president and CEO of Lapiz.

U.S. Cellular, the nation's fifth-largest wireless carrier, has named Lapiz/Chicago its Hispanic agency of record. U.S. Cellular was looking for a strategic partner to help them best define and segment their Hispanic customers. Lapiz also is based in Chicago, U.S. Cellular's biggest market.

As Hispanic agency of record, Lapiz, a division of Leo Burnett, will be responsible for strategy and creative related to overall branding for U.S. Cellular, as well as specific promotional advertising targeting the United States Hispanic audience. "In looking for a strategic partner to support its brand within the Hispanic community, U.S. Cellular recognized similar company values in our approach to putting a brand's purpose at the center of communication," said Dolores Kunda, president and CEO of Lapiz.

Rustoleum to McGarryBowen/Chicago?

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Sources are reporting the Rustoleum advertising account has come back to Chicago. McGarryBowen/Chicago reportedly has won the business, which had been quietly put into review. Periscope/Minneapolis most recently had the account. Energy BBDO/Chicago was competing along with MB and Periscope for the business. The Rustoleum account had been based in Chicago as recently as 2006, when it was housed at the now-defunct Greenhouse shop.

McGarryBowen's Chicago office has been on a roll in recent months. The agency picked up the Maxwell House coffee account recently, the latest in a series of Kraft Foods brands the agency has added to its client roster. The agency also recently moved into new digs in the American Medical Association building. McGarry execs could not be immediately reached for comment.

The Chicago White Sox have selected the San Jose Group/Chicago as its first Hispanic ad agency of record. The move is part of an effort by White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf and the team's top management to grow a significant, loyal segment of the White Sox audience at U.S. Cellular Field, where on average about 14 percent of the crowd for a typical game is Hispanic. Energy BBDO/Chicago will continue to handle White Sox general market advertising.

The San Jose Group will work on an Hispanic-focused ad campaign that is expected to break in about four weeks. The finished campaign will include Spanish-language online work, as well as print, radio and television executions. "Baseball is a powerful passion point for Latinos, and we are going to tap into that excitement for the game and continue building affinity for the White Sox among Latinos," said George L. San Jose, president and chief operating officer of the San Jose Group, which was founded in 1981. The agency also will assist with public relations outreach to the metro Chicago Hispanic community that numbers nearly 2 million.

Meanwhile, the White Sox are expected to unveil the first print executions for their 2010 general market ad campaign next week to coincide with the start of individual ticket sales. The new campaign will carry the tag line "White Sox baseball: It's black and white." The theme is intended to suggest that there are no gray areas at the White Sox, especially when it comes to winning and losing. TV commercials may break as early as March, and some of the ads are expected to feature White Sox team members.

ISBA ad campaign, pic of billboards.jpgRemember the Burma Shave sequential sign advertising? The Illinois State Bar Association and its ad agency & Wojdyla/Chicago drew their inspiration for a new outdoor campaign from the wonderfully-entertaining Burma Shave executions were a mainstay during America's Great Depression. Given the economic hard times we've endured recently, it's understandable why David Wojdyla and his creative team might have turned to the Burma Shave advertising concept for inspiration.

The new ISBA billboard executions encourage consumers always to be aware of whether attorneys actually belong to the Illinois State Bar Association and to hire only member attorneys. The sequential billboards are going up along Interstate 55 and in Chicago's Ogilvie Transportation Center, where they appear as side-by-side backlit displays.

Speaking of "Monsters & Money In the Morning," the overnight Nielsen ratings for the show's debut Monday on CBS-owned WBBM-Channel 2 weren't promising. The first hour of the show from 5 a.m. to 6 a.m. pulled a .6 rating. But that small number fell dramatically to a mere .2 rating in the show's second hour from 6 a.m. to 7 a.m.

That means the show lost around two-thirds of its audience after the first hour. Some viewers may have headed off to work, but others may have simply headed to another local TV station. Per the January 2010 Nielsen numbers, WBBM's old, more traditional early morning news show had averaged a .8 rating from 5 a.m. to 6 a.m. from Jan. 7 to 27, and that number grew to a 1 rating in the 6 a.m. to 7 a.m. hour.

"Monsters & Money In the Morning" has made its long-awaited debut on CBS-owned WBBM-Channel 2. Everyone was expecting the talk show to be a departure from the other early morning local new shows, and that it is. But what has caught the attention of a lot of viewers is the revolving camera in the middle of the table around which the four co-hosts -- Mike North, Dan Jiggetts, Mike Hegedus and Terry Savage -- are seated.

We have written about the considerable thought given to designing the set for the show over the course of a number of weeks, but we had heard no mention of a camera being placed on the large round table itself. And, as we learned today, there was originally no plan to put a camera on the table. But during rehearsals last Friday, this new camera device was discussed, and at the very last minute a decision was made to give it a try on "Monsters & Money." So there it is. A conversation-starter, to be sure, but it does inject a slightly creepy quality into the show.

Dave Fogel is returning to the Chicago market as morning drive host at oldies WLS-FM (94.7). He replaces Brant Miller, who had been doing double duty as NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5 weatherman and morning drive host at WLS-FM. Fogel was last in the market as a talent at hot adult contemporary WTMX-FM (101.9), where he was on air from 1997 to 2004. He most recently was at KCKC-FM in Kansas City. Joining Fogel on his new morning drive show at WLS-FM will be Maura Myles, who will handle traffic, weather, news and other duties. Myles moves over from WLS-AM (890), where she had a similar role. Fogel begins his new job on Mar. 1.

SPG 2010 Poster 1.jpgKatarina Van Derham has made history. She is the first woman to have been named St. Pauli Girl spokesmodel for two consecutive years. Yes, the 2009 St. Pauli icon will serve in the same role for 2010. To celebrate the Slovakian native's second tour of duty, St. Pauli Girl has unveiled two new posters featuring Van Derham. The public is invited to vote for their favorite of the two at www.stpauligirl.com, and the winning poster will become the brew's official poster for 2010.

Selecting a spokesmodel is a decades-long tradition for St. Pauli Girl, the No. 2 German lager in the United States. The St. Pauli Girl poster was first introduced in 1982, and more than 2.5 million posters have been downloaded or printed since then. Van Derham begins her 2010 media tour in Los Angeles today. Chicago-based Crown Imports is the exclusive importer of St. Pauli Girl in the U.S.

Tom.jpgTom Gorton has joined Jacobson Rost/Chicago as a creative director. Gorton most recently was an associate creative director at DraftFCB/Chicago, where he moved after 13 years at Leo Burnett/Chicago. At Jacobson Rost, Gorton will report to chief creative officer Steve Simoncic. "Tom's veteran sensibilities and versatility working on everything from nationally-acclaimed television commercials to interactive campaigns, in-store programs and all points between are a welcome addition to our creative accounts," said Jerry Flemma, Jacobson Rost president and chief operating officer. Jacobson Rost clients include Azteca Foods, Comcast SportsNet Chicago and the Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Co.

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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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