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Arnold's Revenge

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The post-Hatch buzz in the hallways of Arnold Communications may reverberate all the way to next year's show.
At least one top agency executive has asked chief creative officer Ron Lawner to re-evaluate the value of the Hatch show, sponsored each year by the Advertising Club of Greater Boston. The implication is that perhaps the show, which honors the best advertising in New England, is no longer worth the price of entry.
For a second year in a row, some inside Arnold feel slighted by Hatch. Last year, the Boston agency's Volkswagen ads shared Best of Show honors with a pro bono effort from Pagano Schenck & Kay.
This year, the New Beetle campaign, which won the grand prize for print at Cannes, was expected to take top prize. A majority of Hatch judges, who voted for Mullen's work for Swiss Army Brands, saw things differently.
Hatch has long favored smaller agencies over larger ones, but clearly it's the larger agencies that support the show. The region's four biggest shop's this year made 740 of the 2,019 entries. Of those 740, Arnold contributed the most, with 238.
That raises another question for next year's organizers: If the agency with the most entries wins best of show, what does that say about the value of the show to any participant?
--Judy Warner