You've Managed to Get it Wrong

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Letter to Editor

May 1, 2001

Dear editor:

Please either print the whole letter or don't print it at all.

Once again, you've managed to get it all wrong. Your news brief "Small Shops Protest Domination by Creative Giants" is about the finest misrepresentation of fact I've ever read.

As the host of last year's "no show," an informal party for small, independent SF shops to get together,

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Small Shops Protest Domination by Creative Giants
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look at work, and drink beer, we want to clear up a few facts.

No party this year
First, we held no party this year. There simply is no "protest" as you claimed.

Second, when we did it last year, we did not "hold our own show." We merely hung the work, drank beer and had fun. Fun being the prevailing sentiment. Something sorely absent from the SF show.

We did not "decline to enter in protest ... because of the propensity for Goodby Silverstein to sweep the show." We don't enter because the show is horribly run. In fact, when we did enter, we usually placed second or third, swapping with Butler Shine (who also doesn't enter this show).

'Wonderfully impossible'
Just to be clear. Goodby sets a standard here that is wonderfully impossible to achieve on the merits of shear quantity of good work. This keeps us all honest. And we will happily throw our work against theirs in the national arena. We're not afraid of that.

OWNP's problem is not with the other agencies we would compete against (some of the "creative giants" you mentioned get less stuff in the harder national shows than we do), it's with the show itself.

Poor judges; badly displayed
The SF show is twice as expensive as the national shows. The judges are usually of less quality. The work is badly displayed. They don't put a book out. And, most importantly, it's about as much fun to attend as sliding down a banister of razor blades.

I, personally, have tried to help the SF show correct these things in the past. They don't seem to want to. As a result, it has become nothing more than a festival of reps trying to sell you something.

Damn shame
A damn shame if you ask me. But still not something we want to spend money on at this time. If you ever want to report accurately on this subject, feel free to give me a call.

Jeff Odiorne
Odiorne Wilde Narraway and Partners

Copyright May 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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