Holiday Cards lift Gloom of '09

Ad agencies show a bad year hasn’t soured their holiday mood

December 21, 2009
BY LEWIS LAZARE Sun-Times Columnist

Holiday Card '09

The Chicago ad industry took a hit in 2009, but there were encouraging signs in the form of holiday cards from local ad shops. (AP)

For weeks, we’ve been mentally bracing for what we feared would be a depressing drought in the holiday card department this season. Yes, 2009 will go down as the year of the great recession. Ad agencies have struggled as much as any other kind of business just to survive. The Chicago ad industry, which was already in a down cycle before the recession kicked into high gear, has been especially hard hit. Yet, we have received enough encouraging signs in the form of holiday cards from local ad shops to indicate an advertising industry will remain in the Windy City when the recession finally is over next year. Or the year after?

Perhaps our favorite card came from an agency that we don’t hear from often. But Davis Harrison Dion/Chicago amused us with a card that teased us on the cover with the message that “63% of employees will do some holiday shopping online during work hours.” Inside the card was a “marketing tool” to help with our online shopping, namely a “do not disturb” door knob hanger. Perfect!

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