The thread here, if you haven't picked it up yet, is kiddie books and big-name brands and how they seem now to be one and the same. Our Fallon McElligott cover story suggests both; laid out like one of those classic P.D. Eastman tomes you all have stashed in your closets, it's a peek at how this most storied of agencies has been handling its four-year transformation from a shop dominated by print-driven smaller clients to one ruled by TV-driven big ones. We've profiled Fallon three times in the past four years: when Pat Burnham left in 1993, again in March 1995 and now this month. Each time we've tried to take a measure of the agency, to gauge where it was going and where it was headed. When you consider the highs and lows this shop has seen over the years, from controversies to talked-about campaigns to dizzying new-business wins, it's amazing that they've been able to keep their eye on the work. Driving much of this metamorphosis is Bill Westbrook. Naturally, he's the focus of this piece.
This was the month we were going to publish our first-ever ranking of creative work. Well, a funny thing happened on the way to this forum: while grappling with how to set standards and criteria for something as open-ended as comparing agencies with one another, we decided to get a reality check on our perceptions of where different shops were headed via a mini-survey of top creatives from around the country. As things progressed the survey results, hardly scientific, became more interesting than anything we might have to say. So our rankings feature has become a survey piece, and we're opening it up to all our readers. You can look for the results in our May issue.
Finally, an apology to agency producers everywhere (and New York-based freelancer Alison Cohen in particular) for our shameless omission of their names from the credits supplied in our Upfront items. From now on, you're in.