Chicago adbiz scoring ONE item out of 370 year-end recaps in Ad Age confirms invisibility status

Chicago ad agencies have been increasingly and conspicously MIA in national trade publications. Either agency PR departments are out for coffee, or they are non-existent.

(Exceptions: the DraftFCB-Walmart fiasco reported everywhere, and Bernie DiMeo’s agency that regularly commands space in the Sun-Times ad column.)

Chicago’s absence on the national scene was again glaringly evident in Advertising Age’s Dec. 17 issue.

In that issue, Ad Age devoted more than half the issue to 37 different “Lists of Ten.” The collected 370 clever recaps of 2007 stories categorized under categories like trends, people to watch, TV shows, media meltdowns, digital, loved/hated ads, bad celebrity endorsers and the like.

Out of the 370 items listed, only one Chicago adman bore mention: Cramer/Krassalt CEO Peter Krivkovich. His quote and caricature topped the “Follies” of the year list.

On the agency getting fired by CareerBuilding over the USA ad meter, Krivkovich had this to say: “It seems all of our insights, business results and ad awards mean nothing compared to a poll featuring 238 people from two states. There are a few times in your life when you have to tell someone to f**k off and mean it.”


Perhaps there’s a corollary here. Chicago’s ad industry has been steadily losing ground (accounts and key people) to better known agencies in lesser markets, such as Minneapolis, Dallas, Miami and –yikes! — Richmond, Va., that believe in the value horn tooting.

Maybe Chicago agencies will take a leaf from their own business plans and turn the spotlight on themselves and not allow the market to sink into oblivion as far as the rest of the world is concerned

For the time being, Chicago remains the second biggest ad market in North America. We better look out, though. We hear Richmond has ambitions in that direction.