Don’t Quote Me, But…

Rumor and innuendo are hardly the province of gossip rags, online or off. For instance, Chicago Sun Times advertising columnist, Lewis Lazare, loves to quote unnamed sources. He relies heavily on them for his piece on Marhsall Ross, appearing in the paper today.

The search is on. After coming up empty in several recent big new business pitches, Cramer-Krasselt/Chicago appears to be in the market for a new executive creative director to take the position now held by Marshall Ross. An agency spokeswoman did not return calls seeking comment.
“Sometimes when you’re in a job like that for a long time and you learn how an agency operates, you automatically start to take the path of least resistance, which isn’t a good thing for creativity,” said one top New York-based ad agency creative familiar with developments.
According to sources, a headhunter acting on C-K’s behalf in recent months had contacted high-profile creatives in New York about their interest in taking on the head creative job at C-K.
At least one party in New York whom headhunters contacted was not interested in the job because of a perception that Chicago agencies in general were resistant to the kind of change that leads to great creative work.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. Lewis is like one of those guys who always wanted to be in the creative department but could never manage it. He sort of understands the process, yet when you read him often enough you realize that he knows absolutely nothing about this business. I would take everything he says with a grain of salt.

  2. You may want to take just about everything you hear with a grain of salt.
    Having said that, I think Lewis does a decent job. Sure, he has his hang ups, or more politely, his point of view. He clearly wants to see the Chicago ad community make creative progress. Perhaps it’s only because he wants to write better stories. Or maybe he really does care. Hard to say.
    As far as him being jealous of ad people, I’m not so sure. I’ve talked with him on the phone and he seems pretty comfortable with his role. He may balk at the elevated salaries some ad superstars collect. That’s understandable, although I’m sure he does pretty well for himself at the Sun Times.

  3. egoincheck says:

    A few points about Lewis Lazare – who is an interesting read, but not one any person in Chicago ad community should take too seriously.
    a.) Lazare acts as if he has a deep knowledge and understanding of advertising, yet often shows the opposite to be true. This week he praised the latest Windex spot featuring the talking birds. He expressed surprise there were other spots in the campaign. These have been on air for three years, if not four. AdWeek (or was it Ad Age?) reported it to have one of the best recall scores of 2004. Lazare doesn’t know this?
    b.) Perhaps he wants the Chicago ad community to make creative progress. Yet, it’s his bread and butter to write negative pieces about the poor creative. For instance, does AdPulp post Lazare’s occasionally positive stories? (I didn’t see a link to the Windex review.) No, it’s rants and gossip that garner attention. It makes one wonder. Does Lazare complain because he cares? Or because he wants attention?
    c.) I’ve spoken with several people who receive great coverage. According to one small agency owner/CD, this is how it works: take Lazare to lunch, buy him a couple drinks, nod your head and look impressed at what he says, then pick up the check. Repeat on a regular basis, and you get a nice blurb whenever you call. Those who won’t play this game? Look at the Marshall Ross story, and you get the picture. Anonymously, of course.
    Like I said, Lazare can be an entertaining read – and, occasionally, one with actual news. But to take him as a well-informed ad columnist is difficult at best.

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