THE BOOK OF LISTS: BEST DIARY STORIES OF 2001 - Leo Burnett receives a Fizdale rocket over the US breakfast reel

13 April and the temporary cessation of hostilities between Barker

and Souter (see opposite) led to a search for other dynamite internal

memos. Leo Burnett did not disappoint:

Thanks to a highly placed US snout we can reveal the existence of a memo

dated 9 February and sent by the recently retired Leo Burnett chairman

Rick Fizdale to a handful of the agency's top creative directors. It

focuses on Burnett's 2000 "breakfast reel" - an annual company

get-together where the agency's top work is showcased. Or not.

Burnett's former creative steward, who remains a vice- chairman of its

holding company, Bcom3, likens Burnett's 2000 creative product to a bird

"that has fallen to earth with a plop, lifeless".

"Even in the early stages of retirement," he rages, "I cannot shake the

nightmare of the US reel. So now, I lift my pen as a shareholder worried

about this investment."

Fizdale singles out ads for Burnett's blue-chip clients with his

sharpest words. An ad in test for Procter & Gamble's Pert shampoo

starring toy trolls "is so obvious from frame one that channel surfing

becomes an option".

A McDonald's teaser ad is "a waste of money, film and time". Two spots

for Kellogg's Rice Krispies Treats are "con-tenders for the worst

advertising, bar none, this company has ever made. It made me think our

creative de-partment is populated by artless 17-year-olds playing at


At times like this it is best to take the parochial route and remind

oneself that Leo Burnett London is capable of doing things with canned

fish and bears that its US sister shop can only dream of.