REELSCENE: News and Notes 9/29/03

BBDO OPTS OUT. BBDO declined to participate in the review for Tourism’s $12 million account. Agency CEO Tonise Paul said “agency resources could be better utilized serving other areas of our business.” But she also predicted BBDO would be back in the travel and tourism business within a year. No count yet of the number of agencies soliciting the business. An announcement will be made in December. FCB and O&M were past Tourism agencies.

NO BIG MACS AT McDONALD’S PARTY. McDonald’s introduced its new global campaign, “I’m Lovin’ It” to 300 of its own and its ad agency employees at a swank cocktail reception at the W Hotel. Not a Big Mac in sight, but found at lavish buffet was such non-Mickey D cuisine as beef, salmon, suishi, and roasted vegetables. Served, too, in honor of the campaign was a new drink mixture of vodka, cranberry juice and Galiano liquer called “I’m Lovin’ It.” Entertainment by rap group Eclipse.

STUMP IS BACK. Political writer “Stump Connolly,” not to be confused with FCB’s Stump Mahoney, is back. He writes his column for “The Week Behind” a humorous collection of news, features and commentary on the Web. “Stump” is the alter ego of independent producer Scott Jacobs, “Week’s” publisher. Jacobs formerly owned the iconoclastic IPA (Independent Programming Associates) production/post company for 20 years. The 2004 elections and Illinois’ steamy political cauldron inspired Jacobs to don his political persona and resurrect “The Week Behind.” See and check out Starr’s Southerland’s remark under Marilyn’s Comments.

BUSY PRODUCTION TEAM. With “Barber Shop 2” wrapped, “Revelation” is the next feature for director George Tillman and producer Bob Teitel. The story is about an FBI agent who’s wounded while foiling an assassination attempt on a cardinal expected to succeed a pope. And according to Bill Zwecker, Tillman is considering making “A Conversation with the Man,” based on John Ridley’s novel, and “Criminal Minded,” which reteams him with his “Men of Honor” screenwriter Scott Smith.

EURO TATHAM’S FUTURE? Now that Euro has a new CEO in Jim Heekin, formerly with Interpublic, how will his strategies impact the Chicago office? Parent Havas plans to cut 850 more jobs this year, after already eliminating 750, and to close or sell 20 companies, mostly marketing services and European businesses. Only time will tell how Chicago will be affected.

WRITERS PITCH CHANCE. A double play at Chicago Screenwriters Network’s Oct. 5 meeting: A talk by producer/writer/director Jennifer Marchese, and a chance to pitch her screenplay ideas and get feedback. Marchese has directed more than 20 full-length feature films, mostly for cable. Her “One Small Hero” is currently airing on HBO and HBO Family Channels. Marchese is currently in development on “Kid Kool,” a family film. At Lincoln Restaurant, 4008 N. Lincoln Ave., 6 p.m.