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BULLETIN: No Chicago advertising awards show in 2010

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Ok all you eager Chicago ad creatives. You can pack up all your hottest, award-worthy work and start waiting for next year. Barring some sort of last-minute miracle, there will be no Chicago advertising awards show in 2010.

This news comes today from the collective mouths of the committee that has been charged for the past several months with reviewing all aspects of the often rather ugly past history of Chicago ad awards shows and figuring out a sustainable game plan for future shows. One thing seems clear: The Chicago Creative Club Awards entity that had been the awards show organizing group in recent years is kaput.

All of this new committee's efforts have taken longer than originally anticipated, naturally, so they have decided to scrap a show for this year, which means Chicago -- still the nation's second-largest advertising community -- will not have had any kind of awards show for two of the last four years.

What kind of awards show structure does this committee hope to put in place? Well, it's still too early to say for sure, but they have been talking to several outside event planning specialists and hope to select one of them to help set up a formal awards show structure. Of course, the big rub here is no one knows yet exactly what they want this Chicago awards show to be. So until that is figured out, it will be impossible to set up much of a structure.

We have long maintained that a simple awards show that includes a reception and a short and classy awards presentation may be the best way to go -- so long as the organizers can make all in attendance actually cease drinking long enough to focus on the awards themselves.

At a lunch today we heard awards show committee members bandying around words and phrases such as "innovative" and "respectful of our Chicago heritage." But whether such things will be evident in whatever comes of all this deliberation remains to be seen.

We just hate to see another year pass with no awards show, while the Chicago ad community hurries up and waits for whatever is to come next year.

4 Comments

Why do you keep harping on this Awards Show thing, all they are is big jerk off sessions for ad people to stroke each others egos while getting wasted on free booze. The only shows that mean shit to anybody doing any sort of hiring (client side or agency side) are Cannes, the One Show and the D&AD's. Is a local Addy, which this basically amounts to, really going to impress anyone? How 'bout we try and do better work so Chicago gets into more international award shows? It's cool and all, but at the end of the day local award shows are just open bars.

@It's Just An Award ... Well, it's also how local creatives get noticed here in town. So I guess if you only want to work in LA or NYC, then fine. But some people actually want to get noticed locally as well to help their career prospects. Why crap on the little people?

Besides, for a city like Chicago to not have a creative awards ceremony is just plain sad. Shows are a great networking tool, a local litmus test and a chance to form some (God forbid) local camaraderie - something that's sorely needed here.

To be honest, the work in "The Show" in Minneapolis would kill the work here. Much more fresh work coming from Minneapolis. Because they not only compete globally & nationally, but also locally. And that's the point. They have fierce local competitions. But not here. Oh no, we're fine, thanks. Why waste our time and energy, right? How many Chicago ad agencies have been racking up those awards you speak of lately? Yeah, that's what I thought.

This is just one more thing in a long, growing list of reasons why Chicago is (not becoming, IS) an advertising backwater.

Why not have the Sun Times/Lazarre sponsor local award show?
Could be on-line, with a classy reception to present the winners.
People's choice and Judges (just try to make them out of towners).

The first thing the town needs is a true creative club that is all about the work. That club would then control the show. The CAF is and always has been a joke. They should never, ever be involved in the future shows. Nor should self-serving blowhards who occasionally lend their names to the show. Involve people who will actually contribute on a consistent basis. There are 30 or 40 really good creatives in this town--get them involved and soon.

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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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