Jim Schmidt may well be the Snuffleupagus of Chicago advertising, getting more recognition for not being seen at award shows than all the creatives who do show up.
At last year's Chicago Ad Show, Euro RSCG McConnaughy Tatham's chief creative officer sent a busty brunette to make a presentation in his stead, showing her how to wear his omni present baseball cap and imitate his mannerisms at the podium. Her act got mixed reviews, but people definitely took notice. This year, Tatham chose not to enter the show at all, and Schmidt again stayed at home. His decision became a running gag throughout the night for hosts Roe Conn and Garry Meier, two local radio personalities. "Praise is what you get in this business for, and Schmidt doesn't want to be here," Meier cracked at one point.
"Maybe I'm a more compelling person in my absence than I am in person," Schmidt muses philosophically.
While there may be various reasons his agency chose not to participate, Schmidt had a good excuse for missing the show. It fell just five days after the birth of his baby boy, John Henry.