Impersonators, New Logo Unveiling Mark Agency Anniversary Bash

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CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- As Bcom3 Group wades through regulatory red tape to close its sale to Publicis Groupe,
The new Leo Burnett logo still reaches for the stars.
its flagship agency took yet another step to signal that the shop named after its persnickety late founder, Leo Burnett, is far from taking his name off the door.

On the 67th anniversary of the shop's founding, leadership and staff of Leo Burnett Worldwide gathered in front of its 35 W. Wacker Dr. headquarters here to unveil a new corporate logo and motto.

Now etched into granite pillars on either side of the door is an ink-line drawing of a person reaching toward three stars that illustrates Mr. Burnett's famous saying, "Reach for the stars." As the agency endured several ups and downs, especially in its bid to be sold, rumors swirled the Burnett name would fade like a dying star.

'Where's Leo?'
"For a week, we've been asking people at our place, 'Where's Leo?'" said Vice Chairman-Chief Creative Officer Cheryl Berman. "We don't know exactly what the future brings, but we know Leo's going with us." She pointedly stressed the endurance of the Burnett name, telling the crowd of

Photo: Tracy Wernecke
It was Leo everywhere as 67 Leo Burnett impersonators took part in the day's anniversary celebration.
Click to see larger Leos.

150 employees gathered outside, "We're not going to be a conglomerate of initials like the BB's and the DD's."

Ms. Berman then introduced 67 "Leos," actors from the Second City improvisation comedy group who carried a black portfolio and wore Mr. Burnett's signature black fedora, tan trench coat and thick-rimmed black glasses. Earlier in the morning, staff took part in a scavenger hunt to find the Leo look-alikes hiding around the offices.

Linda Wolf, Leo Burnett's worldwide CEO, introduced Mr. Burnett's son, Joe, and other family members, as well as 42nd Ward Alderman Burton Natarus. She told the story of how 67 years ago Mr. Burnett took the train to Chicago and walked for the first time to his five-room office on the third floor of the Palmer House with the now legendary bowl of apples.

Street renamed
"It's only fitting now that we recognize his

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contributions with a street named after him," she said before the agency unveiled new signs renaming the block on Wacker between State and Dearborn streets as Leo Burnett Drive.

"It's very unusual in a company that a name survives like Leo Burnett," said Mr. Natarus. He implored the staff to not let their imaginations stop or "Leo will press a button and lighting will come down."

His closing remarks seemed to foreshadow the doubts some hold as to whether new ownership means Chicago would lose its most famous ad agency: "Please stay in love with Chicago," Mr. Natarus said.

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