L.A. Ad Club alleges awards "fraud" as it seeks entries for next show

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The Advertising Club of Los Angeles issued a letter from its co-presidents to agencies saying it had evidence 1999 Belding Bowl winner Ground Zero had plagiarized its winning campaign from another ad. "Allegations of fraudulence have threatened the credibility of this long-prestigious award,"' said the letter. It turns out to be the tongue-in-cheek opening salvo created by Ground Zero, Marina del Rey, Calif., in a campaign seeking entries for this year's show. Club Co-President Jerry McGee, chairman-CEO of Ogilvy & Mather in Los Angeles, said he heard from some executives who, taking the letter seriously, expressed pleasure in seeing an investigation of Ground Zero and the awards. "Shall we say a lot of jealous people were very happy for a moment," he said, before they learned the letter was a spoof.

Copyright December 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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