Adages

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Adman's out-of-home experience. Body is a billboard.

Crispin Porter Bogusky apparently looked the other way when it made its most recent hire, copywriter Dave Schiff, whose body is covered in ink, including a tattoo that reads: "This guy smells awful." Did he wear a turtleneck to his job interview?

"I considered wearing a neck brace," says Dave. "I figured not only would it cover my tattoos but the sympathy I might get would be helpful."

David says he once put on body makeup for a traffic-court appearance, but it rubbed off on the collar of his shirt. "When I got my neck done, they called it the job-killer," says Dave. Apparently it hasn't affected his hire-ability. Dave worked at Oasis Advertising in New York before being recruited by Crispin, and before that he worked for eight years in the marketing department at Schwinn bicycles.

Dave has a total of 160 hours of work on his body. At about $100 per hour-long session, Dave estimates that he has some $16,000 worth of ink on him.

Although most of the artwork is "just an elaborate attempt to get attention," there is one poignant tat on his leg: A severed hand with the word "lies" tattooed on its fingers spells out the word "promises."

"That was my satiric commentary on advertising," says Dave. "Not advertising as it is practiced here [at Crispin], but advertising in general. I figured, in a lot of cases, that is a good representation."

A likely story

Donald Sutherland told Adages at Volvo's soiree at ABC's Times Square studios that he's been driving Volvos for many years because one saved his life. About 11 years ago, he was riding shotgun in a Volvo that was plowed in the rear by a truck driver doing 50 mph, shoving the car into a concrete pole. Sutherland was shaken but not hurt. "I asked the driver if he was OK," says the longtime voice of Volvo. "He had just had a bypass, but the accident blew out his staples. He said he was OK, then he fainted." Added Sutherland "It's what I drive. It's for life. My life." Now that sounds like a tagline.

Saving Grace

The mysterious backer behind Grace Magazine, the startup plus-size women's fashion title that will be edited by former Mode editor Ceslie Armstrong, turns out to be Jane Siebels, CEO of Green Cay Asset Management, a hedge fund that puts money behind politically correct companies. Jane's office is in Nassau, the Bahamas, a not-very-PC tax-shelter hideout. "We saw a social need for a magazine of this type," says Jane from her island redoubt. For the record, Jane says that she is, herself, a plus-size or "real" woman.

Panic button

Orlando-based Push, a five-year-old ad shop, was featured recently in a Zippy the Pinhead comic strip. Actually it was their building, a warehouse with a shiny steel facade and a big green "Push" button above the door that looks like a huge doorbell. Can you actually push the button? "As far as I know, yes," says John Ludwig, a Push partner. What happens? "Lake Michigan's water level drops two feet," says John.

Contributing: Jean Halliday

For some free ink, write rlinnett@crain.com

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