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Ad Age Original Video Report

Awards Show Proves to be Gay Affair

The Adages Column Attends the Images in Advertising Show

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Adages doesn't want to upset the Commercial Closet Association by trafficking in stereotypes, but we have to say one thing is true: Gay people have more fun.

And we might have to confess that we've found a new favorite award show of the ad season in Commercial Closet's Images in Advertising Awards. Sure, it's got the usual trappings of an awards show-booze, goody bags, too many people and not enough hors d'oeuvres. But Images in Advertising had two things going for it. First, it was really short, clocking in at just over an hour. Second, the hostess for the evening was comic Judy Gold. And while the theme for the evening might have been "Suitable for all audiences," Gold certainly wasn't. Going through our notes, about the cleanest quotes we can find are: "I feel bad for my kids because they have two Jewish mothers"; "Turn off that goddamn cellphone. Unless you're curing HIV or cancer, turn off that damn phone"; and, in reference to the criteria for the winning entries, "Oh my God, this is so boring." Yes, it was an irreverent evening, to say the least. But there wasn't a stuffed shirt in the house.

Adages sat between Logo Senior VP-General Manager Lisa E. Sherman and Stephanie Blackwood, co-founder and account director of Publicis Groupe's Double Platinum unit (and Commercial Closet board member), who were practically beside themselves with laughter. (This despite the fact that Blackwood had to wait a full 10 minutes to get into the event because someone hadn't put her name on the list. She's a board member, people. C'mon, already.)
Kraft's 'Snack Fairy' ad campaign received the organization's 'Clean Up Your Act' award.
Kraft's 'Snack Fairy' ad campaign received the organization's 'Clean Up Your Act' award.

Also on hand were John Nash, president of Moon City Productions, Subaru's GLBT market agency; Kenneth Hill, senior programming manager of AOL's aol.com/gay; and Michael Wilke, founding executive director of Commercial Closet.

Winners included Diet Pepsi's "Guy Watcher" from DDB for Outstanding Commercial, T-Mobile for Turnaround Mainstream Advertiser, and ESPN's in-house effort "Sports is my orientation" for Outstanding B2B/Trade Ad. Kraft's Nabisco was slapped with a Clean-Up-Your-Act Notice (we have to love an award show that shames someone). And DDB took home the Agency of the Year award.

Godiva offers peak into vault
Short of blindfolding its guests to lead them to an undisclosed location, Godiva pulled out all the stops for the launch of its latest chocolate success. Lock-box invites, car service, a downtown vault: At 80 years old, Godiva knows how to keep a secret and how to set the bar high for its fellow luxury chocolatiers. Adages was taken on a private tasting tour of the unnamable line due to be introduced to the public in late September. We met up again with Thierry Muret, the master chocolatier who introduced us to the Platinum line last year and who explained the dangers of tasting chocolate 10 to 15 times a day. "I taste chocolate first thing in the morning-in small bites-and then several times throughout the day. Every once in a while my tongue gets overwhelmed, and I have to call on Jody [Klocko, also a master chocolatier] for his opinion. I trust him very much." As a dark-chocolate fan, Adages was happy to taste the Midnight Swirl, made from 85% cacao. We even managed to enjoy the white chocolate, though we think Muret was a wee bit dismayed when we called the tangy raspberry filling "jam-like." Should we have called it confiture? In any case, this line is worth its weight in ... well, some precious metal or another.

Unleash your inner Hicks
Don't know what to do to fill those empty nights now that "American Idol" has drawn to a close and "America's Got Talent" has yet to start? Need a fix of musically themed reality programming? The folks at 24/7 Real Media just might be able to scratch that itch, with "Agency Idol." CEO David J. Moore is looking for the hottest musical talent in the agency world Thursday, June 1, at Cain in Manhattan. And participants will have to face a real live panel of judges, including TVT Records' Paul Burgess, who'll be playing the Randy Jackson role; singer-songwriter Stephanie Schneiderman and singer Sabriena Stone doubling up for the Paula Abdul role; and Winston Entertainment CEO Steve Ship trying to fill Simon Cowell's big mean shoes. Adages has learned that employees of Integrated Media Solutions, MediaVest, JWT, Modem Media, OMD, Ogilvy and Universal McCann have signed up to participate.

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Brooke Capps contributed to this column

Patrol the soul with kwheaton@crain.com
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