Clios Honor Clow With Career Award

MIAMI Lee Clow was given a lifetime achievement award at the 45th annual Clio Festival here last night.

Clow, 60, chairman and chief creative officer of TBWA Worldwide, was honored for his work on accounts such as Apple Computer, Taco Bell, Nike, Nissan Motors and Energizer, among others. Clow helped create advertising such as Apple’s “1984” spot and “Think different” campaign and ads featuring the Energizer bunny, all of which are in the Clio Hall of Fame.

At a dinner ceremony honoring his life’s work, Clow’s friend and frequent collaborator Mark Fenske introduced the legendary art director, following a video montage that presented a retrospective of Clow’s creative work. Fenske appeared in the video as a bearded beach bum who suspected Clow was actually a Martian.

At the podium, Fenske introduced Clow with a reference to his modesty. “Lee Clow has no idea that he is Lee Clow,” Fenske said. He compared Clow’s significance to the advertising industry to Fenway Park’s to baseball. “I know of no one who cares less about his celebrity,” he said.

Clow took the stage in jeans, a white shirt and a black blazer. He began his acceptance speech by describing the challenge of working in the advertising business as “trying to get work through the nincompoop forest. It’s the life work of people in advertising. Mark and I have taken a few wild attempts at trying to get through the nincompoop forest. Sometimes we succeed, sometimes we don’t,” he said. “But I’ve had an amazing, surprising career in this business.”

“Lee’s work embodies ongoing creative excellence. With 90-plus Clios to his credit, Lee is an inspiration,” Ami Brophy, executive director of the Clio Awards, said prior to the ceremony. “The best part is, he is still working. We can expect even more great work.”

Past recipients of Clio lifetime achievement awards include former Ogilvy & Mather worldwide creative director Neil French, founding partner of Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO David Abbott and director Tony Kaye.

Adweek and the Clio Festival are owned by VNU.