1991 Clio Awards: Inside the Most Shocking Night in Advertising History

Caterer-turned-presenter Stephen Pieretti recalls the dramatic evening 30 years ago

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They don’t do award shows like they used to.

Stolen awards, a no-show master of ceremonies, caterer-turned-presenter and stage-crashing advertising executives. There is one night that lives in infamy: the 1991 Clio Awards.

For decades, advertising award galas have been staples of the industry with few dramatic moments, aside from the occasional drunken outburst. The first Clio Awards show, presented in 1959, recognized television advertising. The ceremony was even featured on the classic series Mad Men when character Don Draper is nominated for his Glo-Coat commercial.

The annual staid evening is typically filled with long-winded speeches, bragging and endless networking.




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