SAATCHI TOP BELDING WINNER

Agency Takes Home 11 Bowls at Show Honoring L.A.'s Agencies

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SAN FRANCISCO (AdAge.com) -- Publicis Groupe's Saatchi & Saatchi, El Segundo, Calif., won top honors at the Advertising Club of Los Angeles' Belding Awards held thursday night.

Saatchi won 11 Belding Bowls and was honored for its "Dog" spot for Toyota Motor Sales USA Co. in which a dog "chases" a Celica, only to bump its head into the rear of the parked car. The words "Looks fast" flash on the screen.

Interpublic Group of Co.'s Deutsch, Los Angeles, and Omnicom Group's TBWA/Chiat/Day, Playa del Rey, each won nine Belding Bowls. Other Belding Bowl recipients with three each were WPP Group's Wunderman, Irvine, and Ogilvy & Mathe Worldwider, Culver City, and independent Ground Zero and Hispanic shop cruz/kravitz, Los Angeles. A total of 47 Bowls were awarded.

As winners celebrated in the Los Angeles' advertising community's equivalent of the Academy Awards at the Wiltern Theatre, the buzz around town is not about the awards themselves, but the changes made in the way they are handed out.

New rules
The 36th annual Belding Awards were doled out following a new set of ground rules developed under this year's chairman, Eric Hirshberg, managing partner and executive creative director at Deutsch. The show continued to have a sweepstakes winner whose honors include the responsibility for staging next year's show. But the awards committee also handed out Bowls to any work deemed worthy of an award in a category, instead of just one Bowl for the best of the category. The categories themselves were redefined, moving away from awarding by client category, such as automotive, to media involved, such as newsaper single ad.

A number of agency executives, however, indicated the switches will result in more awards for larger agencies and branch offices of other shops and away from smaller, independent shops.

Mr. Hirshberg did not return phone calls for comment by press time.

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