Fairchild Publications' August issue of Jane both mocks and appropriates swimsuit issue convention, splashing "Take back the swimsuit issue" on its spine and reveling in a 12-page section, plus centerfold, featuring scantily clad guys. Four different covers feature bare-chested shots of wrestler Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, rapper Snoop Dogg, and actors Jason London and Casper Van Dien. But in the step-too-far dept.: Promotional copies were packaged with shortbread cookies iced with the cover images, along with the tagline "Have your beefcake and eat it, too." Tasty? Dunno. Adages was too frightened to try 'em. It could have been worse, though, if that disturbing shirtless shot of talk show host Bill Maher in khakis and plaid boxers had ended up on a cover --and cookie --instead of being buried on Page 102. Can anyone say Physically Incorrect?
Actorless agency trolls for talent
At Ad Age, reporters scour the earth in search of a good story. Last week, the seeds of a pretty good one landed on our doorstep --literally. En route to lunch (a quick one), two reporters in NY found themselves in a casting call for a commercial plugging IBM servers. Apparently in an attempt to find non-union talent as the SAG/AFTRA strike rages on, a go-getter from Ogilvy & Mather with camera in tow solicited employees exiting our 3rd Avenue offices to appear in a screen test for the technology ad. Aspiring stars were asked to respond to the question "Are you diverse?" with "Yes, I'm diverse." Believing it a clear conflict of interest and catering to rumbling stomachs, the scribes declined.
Leaving Procter for GOP gamble
GOP veep hopeful Dick Cheney is into more than big oil --he's also on the board of Procter & Gamble. Cheney is expected to resign the post, but during his time on the P&G board, the directors are believed by some to have pressured Chairman-CEO Durk Jager to resign after roughly a year in the post. Adages hopes that if George W. wins the White House, he'll deliver better numbers in his first year.
A lust for life Italian-style
A group of 32 Italian cities are banding together to admonish people to slow down. They're promoting "slow living," a return to a more comfortably paced lifestyle of long lunches, walks in the park and evenings at home with the family. Sponsoring the movement is Slow Food, an established organization promoting the traditional Italian lifestyle. The group is developing standards for "Slow Cities," where civic leaders vow to fight the incursion of such influences as U.S.-style fast-feeders. As an assistant mayor of one city asserts: "We are trying to preserve what is wonderful about Italy." Others, like Turin adman Marco Testa, won't be putting the brakes on their breakneck pace. Slow living is "a wonderful, romantic idea that is attractive to everyone," says the head of Armando Testa, Italy's largest agency. "But I'm afraid that in today's world it's just not realistic." However, he adds: "It's a good way to promote these cities. There will always be people who are attracted to that kind of lifestyle."
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