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Clio Awards Show Canceled, Again

June 17, 1991

NEW YORK (AP) _ Clio chaos continued Monday, when the prestigious organization abruptly canceled presentation of awards for excellence in television advertising because it couldn’t come up with a deposit on a swanky hall.

The cancellation came four days after the presentation of Clios for print and radio ended with ad executives grabbing leftover statuettes from unattended tables and a caterer filling in as co-host.

Some ad executives said what happened to this year’s shows embarrassed the industry and dimmed the luster of the Clios.

Bill Evans, who heads the private Clio organization, was unavailable for comment but his spokesman, Don Catterson, said Monday’s show was called off about five hours before it was to have begun.

Evans couldn’t borrow enough money to pay the required deposit to rent and set up the New York State Theater at Lincoln Center for the show, which was expected to have attracted more than 1,000 people, Catterson said.

Mitchell Brower, general manager of the threater, said the Clio organization failed to come up with $59,750 for unpaid rent and payments for stage hands.

Last Thursday, executives rushed the stage when the show that night stopped after the print awards and Catterson and the food caterer he drafted to assist him were unable to find the radio winners’ list. Catterson had to improvise because Evans was late.

Catterson said the media attention that the bizarre ending to Thursday’s show received made it tougher for Evans to borrow money for the required deposit.

Only hours before Monday’s show, the honorary chairman of the television awards presentation, Ed McCabe, resigned and said he would not attend because he had not been contacted by Clio officials and because of ″the difficulties surrounding this year’s activities.″

McCabe, a veteran admaker who recently founded the agency McCabe & Co., had been expected to make some remarks.

Brower said the missed payment was surprising because the theater had held the event for five years without problems.

The awards have been doled out annually for more than three decades and are widely considered to be the most coveted prizes for creative ad work.

Tickets to the television awards presentation cost $175 each. Catterson said the awards will be sent to recipients and ticket buyers can request refunds.

Jerry Siano, chairman and chief executive of the ad agency NW Ayer Inc., said Evans ″has absolutely lost his credibility″ with the industry and said the Clio organization may have to change managers to survive.

He said the experience may drive the industry away from for-profit awards shows and toward non-profit competitions sponsored by ad groups.

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