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MEMBERS OF SAATCHI 17 WIN TWO EFFIES

TBWA/Chiat/Day's iPod 'Silhouettes' Wins Top Award

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- In the continuation of an ad industry saga that has become something of a legend, members of the so-called Saatchi 17 won two Effie awards last night at a ballroom ceremony at the Manhattan Marriott Marquis.
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The 17 are a tight-knit group of creatives, account directors and planners who resigned en masse from Saatchi's New York office in February. The entire group -- formerly part of Saatchi's 100-plus team handling the account for General Mills -- is now employed by Interpublic Group of Cos., a rival of Saatchi parent Publicis Groupe.

Gold and silver
Of the five Effies awarded to Saatchi, the one Gold (for Cheerios' "Stories") and one of two Silvers (for Yoplait's "Get a Waist") was credited to creative directors Leslie Goldman and Enza Mullen, part of the 17, for their contributions. Other Saatchi 17 recognized were account directors Mary Haskin and James Wilday.

"How do you like that?" commented one executive, wryly.

The national awards ceremony, sponsored by the New York American Marketing Association, honors the most effective -- rather than the most artistic -- advertising of the past year. It is the only national competition that honors marketing effectiveness, a distinction that became a point of discussion from the podium.

'Where is Lee Clow?'
The evening's event opened with a pull-no-punches challenge to the industry from Cheryl Berman, chief creative officer of Publicis' Leo Burnett USA. "Why is an Effie not as prestigious as a Cannes Lion?" Ms. Berman asked. "Where are Lee [Clow, of TBWA/Chiat/Day], Dan [Wieden, of Wieden & Kennedy] and Jeff [ Goodby, of Goodby Silverstein & Partners]? Why aren't the creative leaders here tonight?"

Though in existence for nearly four decades and recognized within the industry as important for singling out effective ads, the Effies, Ms. Berman said, do not have the prestige of many of the industry's other awards -- particularly for creatives, who largely covet Lions from Cannes International Advertising Festival.

"The Effies are not the best award show in the business, and they should be," she said, particularly as marketers continue to demand better metrics to measure how their campaigns correlate to sales.

Creatives undervalue Effies
Paul Venables, head of Venables, Bell & Partners, prefaced his duties as a presenter with a comment echoing Ms. Berman's: "Creative people undervalue the Effies" although, he maintained, they should embrace them. "Here, and only here," he said, is where creatives can stand up and show that what they do matters."

TBWA/Chiat/Day's 'Silhouettes' campaign for Apple's iPod was the show's top winner.

In fact, this year's Grand Effie winner went to one of the most popular and widely recognized creative efforts in recent years, the iPod "Silhouettes" campaign, by Omnicom Group's TBWA/Chiat/Day and client Apple computer.

Burnett wins 12 Effies
Ms. Berman's agency, Leo Burnett, which accounted for the bulk of Publicis' wins, landed the most Effies of any agency (12), bringing home three Golds, six Silvers and three Bronze for clients including Kellogg's, Procter & Gamble Co., McDonald's Corp. and Morgan Stanley.

Among holding companies, Omnicom scored the most Golds (11), followed by Publicis (9), WPP Group (5), Interpublic (4), Havas (3) and Dentsu (1). Independent agencies won a combined five Golds.

Omnicom's BBDO won the most Golds of any competing agency, with four Effies for Campbell's Soup, the Peace Corps, Pepsi-Cola and General Electric.

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