Burnett: Local companies not bypassed

Dear Ruth: I am deeply concerned with the story you ran and I’d like to request that you correct all the factual inaccuracies contained therein immediately, namely:

  • We have donated a significant amount of our agency’s time and talent to bringing the Olympics here to Chicago and we’ve been honored to do so.
  • While every hiring decision is ultimately determined by the 2016 Olympic Bid Committee, we have worked together to ensure that every effort has been ? and will continue to be – made to use not only local suppliers, but also minority and diversity suppliers.
  • As evidence, I have provided a summary of all the shoots that we were asked to aid in their execution, and the local talent that served on each project below.
  • Chicago production companies were not bypassed for the job ? and in fact, local production companies including Steve James’ and Jim Krantz’s were used.
  • Therefore, it is clearly misleading to say that “L.A. production companies sent in L.A. crew people.” In fact, on just one shoot, 44 people worked on the job, only 4 of whom were from LA.
  • Moreover, every company involved in the production of the bid films waived director’s fees, markups, and/or handling charges. Therefore, Leo Burnett could not ask our local production houses for lower rates, since the understanding was that this was pro-bono project for all involved.
  • Leo Burnett did not have any agency freelance producer working on the job, so it is simply impossible that a threat was made against any local shop about their willingness to contribute to the project.
  • As the city’s largest advertising agency, we are proud of the role we play in fortifying the city’s production community.
  • There were multiple agencies involved in the creative with the Committee.

Unfortunately, the current story is full of inaccuracies and misrepresents the incredible effort put forth by a very talented ? and very local ? group of people.

I’m sure that you’ll address this immediately and I look forward to reading your corrected piece.

Kind regards,
Abby Lovett, Global PR