Adages

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Udder confusion: Elsie or Elmore? Gateway bovine is gender conflicted

Adages readers, such as Glen Klein of Danville, Pa., put their finger on a perplexing oddity in Gateway's recent TV campaign, which features a cow talking to CEO Ted Waitt. "The cow has a male voice, but when the camera shows a shot from behind, the cow clearly has an udder," Glen writes. So what's up with that? "We've gotten a lot of entertaining notes from rural America, from concerned dairy farmers [and others] who detect some sort of conspiracy," says Gateway spokesman Brad Williams. "Ted is from a cattle family that goes back several generations. If anyone knows the gender of a cow, Ted does. We just like the interplay between two guys, rather than between a guy and Elsie." Really? Adages would prefer to chew the cud with an Elsie.

Were they paid in Deutsch marks?

Pickets parading outside Deutsch's Los Angeles offices are demanding cold hard U.S. cash owed subcontractors who performed landscaping and other tasks in the extensive transformation of the 90,000 sq. ft. former architectural school into a state-of-the-art advertising agency, complete with "floating" conference rooms. Executives at the shop declined comment on the flap, but those familiar with the situation assert the general contractor was paid for the construction and has been unable to provide adequate documentation of what has been described as a "substantive" cost overrun. "Our lawyers are talking with their lawyers," says one executive familiar with the matter.

Decisions, Decisions

Fox News' marketing line, "We report. You decide," suggests that the network offers objective, non-emotional, calm reportage. So why do they feature loudmouth, key primetime hosts Neil Cavuto, John Gibson and especially Bill O'Reilly of "The O'Reilly Factor?" Adages asked Mr. O'Reilly at a recent TV critics tour event in Los Angeles if a more accurate tagline for the network might be "We report. We decide."

"Well, you are probably right," he said. "The primetime shows are opinionated. But in the daytime we do regular news and that still makes sense."

Things we like: fruitcake art

Let's take a break for a minute from advertising and ponder, just for a moment, art. This is a creative industry, now, isn't it? Hey, if Andy Warhol could be inspired by soup cans, why can't Duncan Hines marketing execs get off on a Wayne Thiebaud painting of 20 cakes on a bakery rack? Or Oscar Mayer suits appreciate a James Rosenquist mural of juicy bacon floating through the solar system? Adages stumbled on this: On Feb. 10th a group of downtown artists will put on an art show at the Pastry Kitchen in New York City's Chelsea district, in which artists and pastry chefs will create "edible" art. How's that for inspiration? Alisoun Meehan, a freelance art director and a painter who specializes in murals of sweets and meats, is organizing the event. Also on hand: Colette Peters, the former special events pastry chef for President Bill Clinton; Andrew Shotts, who placed second in the 2001 World Pastry Chef Award; and Ewald Notter, director of The International School of Culinary Arts. Bring a fork.

contributing: Alice Z. Cuneo and Wayne Friedman

You report, we decide at rlinnett@crain.com