Most recent retirees like to relax or play a round of golf. Former Leo Burnett CEO and creative chief Rick Fizdale apparently would rather barbecue—his former employees.

In an incendiary memo sent to Leo Burnett’s 11 exec CDs on Feb. 9, Fizdale blasts the agency’s reel, labeling spots as “insipid” and “exploitive.”

The memo, first unearthed by the Chicago Tribune, was inspired by viewing a reel at the agency’s annual breakfast. “Like a bird that has died in mid-flight, our creative product has fallen to Earth with a plop, lifeless,” Fizdale writes. He describes a Philip Morris’ meals-on-wheels ad as ” so sickeningly sweet I expected to break out in acne,” while a Hallmark ad is “overwritten, manipulative to the point of being smarmy and insincere” and Rice Krispies Treats spots “are contenders for the worst advertising, bar none, this company has ever made.” An agency rep did his best to spin Fizdale’s vitriol. “The memo is classic Fizdale and was written in the time-honored tradition of never being satisfied with the work we produce. Our work can never be the best in the world, bar none, without some sparks flying in the process.”

Divine Interpretation
In an effort to persuade people that God is not a party pooper, a new series of ads appearing in Singapore promise to rattle the uptight image of the divine. The TV and print campaign, which launched earlier this year, gives God a hip, contemporary voice. One print ad reads, “I hate rules. That’s why I only made ten of them.”… God.

In another, God asks, “What do I have to do to get your attention? Take out an ad in the paper?”

“To many people, God is a killjoy, a disapproving school- master in whose presence laughing isn’t even permitted,” says Eugene Cheong, head of copy at Ogilvy & Mather, the agency that created the campaign.

“The communication aims to correct this misconception and portray God as good company, someone you wouldn’t mind putting on the guest list of your dinner party,” adds Cheong.

The campaign, initiated by a group of 150 churches, is reminiscent of a campaign launched last year in the U.S. in which God spoke to kids. The ads, courtesy of, carried lines such as: “Hate is not my rap,” “Don’t dis the ones who love you” and “Let me be your ecstasy.”

Art for Art’s Sake: Creative Juries Inspired
Barcelona is fast becoming the place to meet to judge advertising.

This week in Spain’s hot bed of art and culture the One Show jury will convene to praise and raze their peers’ work. Creative directors, including Cliff Freeman, Arthur Bijur, Tim Delaney and Joyce King Thomas, will meet in the city of Picasso, Dalí and Gaudí. Last month, the Andys jury met in the city’s Le Meriden Hotel, a stone’s throw from the famed Las Ramblas.

One Show judges will find the city just as awe-inspiring as many in the Andys group did.”Being surrounded by art and architecture, you can’t help but recognize how ephemeral what we do is. It’s humbling,” says Andys judge, Robin Raj, creative director of Collaborate, San Francisco.

A dinner at Casa de Gaudí gave the judges insight into his surreal style. “[Barcelona] looks like it’s been in a microwave oven for 10 seconds and is slightly melted,” says Andy jury chairman Jeff Goodby.

“When they said Gaudí was on mushrooms, it all became clear. You talk about vision and execution,” says Raj.

Andys organizers had wanted to go to Istanbul, but due to ongoing conflicts in the Middle East, the State Department prohibited it.

Still, Goodby was enamored of Barcelona. “I’m surprised people haven’t been going there all the time,” he says. “We picked it first.”