He Said, He Said
The Belding Debate
In Al Stewart's story about why I did not create the Call for Entries for this year's Belding Awards [Adweek Western, May 7], he got some basic facts wrong.
Readers were left with the impression that contrary to the tradition of Sweepstakes winners—creating the next year's Call for Entries—I refused to do so. And to make matters worse, [that I] waited until the last minute to inform the Belding people of my decision.
In early October, we were briefed on the assignment. Within 10 days, I presented to Carol Golden and Jean Robaire a completely illustrated and fully written Call for Entry concept. Robaire loved it. It made Golden nervous. Home run.
At the meeting, Golden reiterated that we would not have to pay the $17,000 to produce and distribute the pieces. She understood that our agency does not have a regular printer vendor, and she said the Ad Club would use its contacts to find a willing printer to get the job done.
The following week, Jerry McGee [co-chairman, L.A. Ad Club] called to inform me that it was my responsibility to pay for the production of his club's materials.
I took a week to decide what to do, then called McGee to ask if there was anything he could kick in—a table at the show, an ad in the book, something to help me justify the expense. When he said he would contribute nothing, I told him goodbye and good luck.
That was late October, not exactly the last minute for a May 10 show. I fulfilled my responsibility by giving the Ad Club a fully developed concept. They could have used it, but they balked at the idea of spending their own money—the very thing they were asking me to do.
The L.A. Ad Club takes hundreds of thousands of dollars from entry fees and show tickets. They spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on … expenses connected to putting on a show. Why the production of the show's marketing materials is not considered a legitimate expense by the Ad Club is beyond me.
Kowloon Wholesale Seafood Co.
Santa Monica, Calif.
Jerry McGee responds: It's been a tradition that the Sweepstakes winner of the Belding be responsible for the production and cost for the Call for Entries for the following year. It's been a tradition for as long as I can remember, starting in 1984. [Sittig] chose to break with that tradition, and we chose to move on and get someone else to do it.