Lee Clow and his team have been through a Year of Living Dangerously, drawing ire and praise in almost equal measure. I'm inclined to believe creative director Rob Siltanen when he tells us that the agency doesn't seek controversy. "It's not like we're dealing with sex, violence, and race," he says, puzzled and perhaps a little miffed. Nonetheless, almost every TBWA Chiat/Day campaign of late has set tongues wagging. You either love the work or you'd like to personally set fire to every last reel, poster, and print ad; these campaigns are unlikely to leave you cold.
We're not saying TBWA Chiat/Day is now the best in the business (though we'd be hard-pressed to come up with a U.S. agency whose overall work is as animated and vibrant, and as unafraid of risks). There were even important factors weighing against a vote for TBWA Chiat/Day -- such as the fact that the TV work is arguably better than the print, and the fact that the New York office is still playing creative catch-up to the Venice branch. But the agency is indisputably 1997's comeback kid, having Clowed its way back to the top after a period of sagging morale and so-so creative. Our hats are off.
Bookending our cover story are two separate articles on Images of the Year. The first one (page 23) examines 1997's overall iconography, from news photos to popular ads. The second one (page 28) focuses exclusively on the year's most memorable advertising visuals, which are more ironic and self-referential than ever.
Speaking of changing images: We're due for a makeover ourselves. Creativity will be back in early February with a whole new design. In fact, our motto is "Look different." -- Rogier van Bakel
Last month, Creativity contained an annual advertising supplement that many readers have come to value, the Lions '97 Cannes Gala insert. We received a good many complaints about omissions and typos, including misspelled names, in that section. While we support and sponsor the Cannes gala, Creativity didn't produce the insert. Advertising supplements are by definition outside the editorial