Fallon, CME No-Shows at The Show

City’s Biggest Shops Will Skip Local Awards Competition This Fall
CHICAGO – Minneapolis’ two largest agencies, Campbell Mithun Esty and Fallon McElligott, won’t attend this year’s city advertising awards.
Fallon has snubbed The Show, which is held each fall, several times this decade. In an internal memo, creative director David Lubars said it does not provide enough of a tangible payoff to justify the entry fees. However, he said the agency would participate in the city’s Creative Summit, a group of seminars and discussions on creativity, which occurs at the same time.
Jim White, CME chief creative officer, said his general disdain for award shows will keep his shop away.
“The whole award system is making it harder to sell great creative to clients,” he said.
CME, the city’s biggest shop, has fared poorly at the local competition in recent years. Last year, the agency took home one bronze prize.
Fallon, on the other hand, is known nationwide as a creative powerhouse, and has won Best of Show honors in Minneapolis in each of the past two years. One insider speculated Fallon executives do not want to enter because they “always win” and feel they don’t get enough credit for it.
Creatives from the city’s other agencies said they are disappointed by Fallon’s decision.
“We like it when they enter,” said Jack Supple, president and chief creative officer of Carmichael Lynch. “I like having the stimulus, and it’s good for the Minneapolis buzz.”
Supple said Fallon’s pullout did not deter CL from entering its work, nor will it cheapen the competition.
Lyle Wedemeyer, creative director at Martin/Williams, suggested Fallon’s absence does cast somewhat of a shadow over the winning entries. “Whenever this happens there’s always an asterisk by the show,” Wedemeyer said. “You’d like everybody to be in. It makes you feel better to win.”
Janet Weaver, co-chair of this year’s competition, downplayed the two agencies’ decisions.
“The impact it caused in the past was overcome, and the impact it may cause in the future will be overcome,” she said.
Staffers at the two shops are welcome to enter the competition on their own, Weaver said. She said she has already received such entries from one group of creatives, but declined to say from which agency. ¡