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The last time Cliff Freeman was on our cover was in December 1991. The gist of the accompanying story, for those of you with short memories, was that his agency wanted to be taken seriously for a change. The headline, borrowing a g reat tag Cliff wrote back in his Dancer Fitzgerald Sample days, summed it up: "Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don't."

So here we are a mere five years later and Cliff, along with his longtime companion Arthur Bijur a nd more recent convert David Angelo, can finally stop feeling like a nut. We named Cliff Freeman & Partners our 1996 Agency of the Year not only on the strength of their victorious new-business juggernaut and impressive awards show ing, but most of all for the stunning achievement of actually being able to break out of the comedy stranglehold. In an industry where perception is reality and pigeonholing can stunt not only an individual's career path but a comp any's growth as well, the folks at CF&P have demonstrated that they can indeed do more than bowl you over with side-splitting work for largely retail clients. We think this is an accomplishment worthy of being named Creativity's Ag ency of the Year, and we might add that they did it in the face of stiff competition.

Speaking of perception vs. reality, we have two compelling Viewpoint pieces in this month's issue. Regular readers may remember Charles Hall, the subject of a profile last December. Charles has since left TBWA Chiat/Day and is in the process of setting up his own creative service; in the interim, he spent some time pondering the evergreen issue of minorities in advertising. As one of the few African American creatives working in what are euphemistically called general-market agencies, he has more than a few opinions on the subject. We think you'll find them interesting. In addition, we asked Michael D inwiddie, an accomplished playwright and drama professor at Florida A&M, to comment on the image of black Americans as depicted by the advertising industry. As with Charles' Viewpoint, Michael's observations, while uncomfortable to hear, are

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