Breaking the rules, defying the rain gods...

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NO BIG AGENCIES NEED APPLY? The workshop for small and midsize agencies had two rules: No reporters and no big agency execs allowed. Your intrepid Ad Age reporter snuck in only to find he wasn't the only rogue. Who appeared midway through but legend Ed Ney, chairman emeritus of Y&R. Sure, times are tough there, but a small agency?

MOST CRINGE-WORTHY MOMENT: It should have been the title of the panel "The Young Masters of the Digital Universe" but it was easily topped by moderator Jerry McGee's unsettling appearance on stage wielding a lightsaber and impersonating Yoda-because the Internet and Star Wars are, you know, er, the same thing.

I'M LAUGHING AT CLOUDS: The New York Times Co. sponsored the opening evening's "western barbecue," but with the Arizona weather gods suddenly deciding to end a long drought. Times ad columnist Stuart Elliott and his team scrambled to bring the chow line indoors. Nothing says barbecue like Lucite chandeliers. Fun was had by all-at least until Andrew Robertson donned a cowboy hat.
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