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`Jump'-starting award efforts

Want an ad medium with great mileage at award shows? Take the bus. At the recent annual meeting of the Outdoor Advertising Association of America, speaker Brian O'Neill--the O in San Fran agency GMO/Hill, Holliday--shared 50 of his favorite outdoor ads. One was for the jobs section of British newspaper The Guardian; the ad, intended to be seen by disgruntled office workers, was spread across a bus roof and read: "Don't jump." Later that day, the Martin Agency, Richmond, Va., snared Best of Show in the OAAA's Obie competition for a Careerbuilder.com campaign--featuring a bus brandishing the same admonition. O'Neill says he was "horrified." But Martin's bus award run wasn't over. It went on to win a Bronze Lion at Cannes. AD Jamie Mahoney, co-creator of the Careerbuilder effort, says that "no one in the Martin Agency knew about [the Guardian ad]. . . . we wouldn't do work that was already done." Mahoney says she came up with the "Don't jump" concept more than a decade ago for a friend's consulting business. They attached "Don't jump" stickers to the office's windows. The Guardian ad, via London's Leagas Delaney, had some award power of its own. It won a merit award as a finalist in the '97 One Show competition of the One Club for Art & Copy.

Wisdom of

Wal-Mart exec

Wal-Mart marketing chief Paul Higham talked trash recently at the American Advertising Federation's annual conference, at least as it pertains to lessons applicable to life and the biz world. Higham said that as a teen, he had a summer job at a Salt Lake City zoo, where he noticed the director's habit of always picking up any piece of litter. Never walk past a piece of trash, because it has a way of overcoming you, the director warned. Another lesson: There's a difference between consumers' attitudes and behavior. Higham said he once drove behind a pickup with a sticker showing a cartoon character urinating on a Wal-Mart logo--then the truck drove into a Wal-Mart lot. The 29-year ad vet said he plans to write a book on other life and marketing lessons when he retires, but not for a half-dozen or so years.

Labouring away

at spin machine

Wonder what U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair thinks of French ad giant Publicis' acquisition of Britain's Saatchi & Saatchi? He's certainly an admirer of Saatchi & Saatchi, albeit begrudgingly. Trying to deflect criticism that his Labour Party is overly spin-conscious, Blair tells Vanity Fair: Ex-Tory leader "Margaret Thatcher had got one of the best advertising agencies in the country, Saatchi & Saatchi." The magazine also informs that Blair has hired TBWA GGT Simons Palmer, London--the agency behind the "Fcuk fashion" campaign for retailer French Connection--for his re-election bid. An agency executive wore a "Fcuk the Tories" T-shirt during the pitch process.

Got an Adage? Tell Dan by phone, (312) 280-3109; fax, (312) 649-5331; or e-mail, dlippe@crain.com.