"Dick" is doing Dallas.
The Dallas Ad League, organizer of the beleaguered TOPS awards show, has landed the writer/director team of Miller Lite's "Dick" campaign as judges for the Feb. 19 local American Advertising Federation Addys competition.
Linus Karlsson and Paul Malmstrom of Fallon McElligott in Minneapolis comprise a panel DAL officials said is a trend begun last year to recruit more high-profile judges.
"Last year was evidence that we were responding to the people we represent, and we continue down that path this year," said DAL president Brandee Knox.
"Last year, quite honestly was the first year I gave it any credibility," said 1999 TOPS show chair Dave Longfield of Moroch & Associates.
Other judges include David Smith of Rubin Postaer & Associates in Santa Monica, Calif.; creative consultant Mike Maurer of Maurer & Associates in San Diego; and Francisco Olavarrieta, creative director at del Rivero Messianu in Coral Gables, Fla. DAL is searching for a female candidate to fill a sixth slot on the judging panel.
DAL issued its call for entries last week. TOPS entries will be accepted through Jan. 5, with late submissions eligible through Jan. 12. The show will take place in a less formal setting--MPS Studios at 141 Regal Row--than 1998's show at the urbane Dallas Museum of Art. The event also shifts from Saturday to Friday.
While the program's pace was streamlined and merit awards eliminated, the main criticism of the show in recent years--particularly by DDB Needham Dallas chief creative officer Jim Ferguson--was the competition's judging credibility.
"To me, the better the judges, the better the show is," said Glenn Dady, a creative group head at The Richards Group in Dallas. "To have Fallon guys here that I respect . . . is a great thing."