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O.C. Advertisers Honor Their Best

Awards: dGWB of Irvine scores four wins. John Vrba receives lifetime achievement laurel.


NEWPORT BEACH — A television commercial for Laguna Hills-based Del Taco, a public service ad by a Newport Beach agency, and an Irvine photographer won top honors in the AdClub of Orange County's 1997 Advertising Awards.

The awards were announced Saturday evening at the Sutton Place Hotel in Newport Beach. The AdClub this year received a record 600 entries from county advertising agencies, clients, freelancers and vendors.

Saatchi & Saatchi Pacific won the Best of Show Broadcast Award for its Del Taco television commercial "$.39 Taco."

The Judges Special Recognition Award went to Esprit Communications in Newport Beach for its public service ad "How to Kill a Canyon." Sharing the award was photographer Vic Huber of Irvine for self-promotion with his book "December Noir."

John Vrba, senior vice president and managing director of Western International Media in Newport Beach, received the 1997 Lifetime Achievement Award.

Vrba began his career in 1949 at KTTV-TV Channel 11 in Los Angeles.

He also worked as an advertising executive at television stations in Denver and Cincinnati. He was an executive at Time-Life Films, and was involved in shows such as "Soul Train" and "Wild Kingdom." He joined Western International in 1986.

Other winners included:

* dGWB of Irvine for a Wienerschnitzel campaign featuring singer Roy Clark, and KIA Motors of America in Irvine and its agency, Goldberg Moser O'Neill, for best regional or national television commercial.

* The best radio spot award went to dGWB for its Wienerschnitzel ads, and to Townsend & O'Leary in Mission Viejo for a Fantastic Sam's commercial. The dGWB agency also won the award for best complete campaign, which includes two or more media.

* The Look Ma No Budget agency in Laguna Niguel won the best newspaper honors for its Bikini Barbershop ads.

* Brochures by Irvine-based Gunther's Printing Inc.'s in-house ad agency, and a Yamaha Motor ad by Marshall Design of Irvine, won for printed materials.

* Fuse Design in Laguna Beach won in the new media category for Web sites it designed for Yamaha Guitars and Hewlett Packard.

* For trade publication ads, winners were Lawrence & Mayo of Newport Beach and dGWB.

* The specialty advertising and apparel prize went to R&D Graphics and Marketing of Dana Point and Rieches Baird in Huntington Beach.

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