Fiz Plop Plops On Burnett

Rick Fizdale, former CEO and Creative Head of Leo Burnett beat the apple agency's creative product to a pulp in a recent memo.

Chicago Tribune ad columnist Jim Kirk reprinted portions of the memo which Fizdale wrote in reaction to viewing the agency's reel at the annual year-end Burnett Breakfast.


For Fizdale, the reel was a "nightmare" before Christmas that ultimately provoked him into becoming a Creative Review Committee of one.

His brutally frank critique flips Burnett's "reach for the stars" logo upside down.


Fizdale singles out specific ads for several of Burnett's blue-chip clients with his sharpest criticism.

For example, an ad in test for Procter & Gamble's Pert shampoo product starring toy trolls "is so obvious from frame one that channel surfing becomes an option," he wrote.

Fizdale criticizes one McDonald's "teaser" ad featuring crew kids as a "waste of money, film and time."

He aimed perhaps his sharpest criticism at two spots for Kellogg's Rice Krispies Treats, including one believed to be an ad showing a man using the sticky treat on a hand railing to keep him from falling in a moving train.

Those spots "are contenders for the worst advertising, bar none, this company has ever made," he states. "It (and others) made me think that our creative department is populated by artless 17-year-olds playing at advertising."

Going further, Fizdale says, "I believe in taking creative risks. ... But I detest, as you should, advertising designed to impress juries and make us appear cool and above it all."

At the end of the memo, Fizdale pleads: "I appeal to you. Please rise above this sophomoric, uninspired ... idea-less, uncrafted blob of work."

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