Giving new meaning to a halo brand

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How does Pope Benedict XVI roll? In a Volvo, according to news from the carmaker last week. In a ceremony at the Vatican, his holiness was granted the keys to a brand-spanking-new Volvo XC90. It's dark blue and has-what else?-a V8. But wait. Adages remembers going to see John Paul II at the Superdome in New Orleans back in the day, and JPII's Popemobile was most definitely a product of Mercedes. Shouldn't Benedict, who is German after all, be tooling around in a Benz? If Germany hadn't been wrapped up in World Cup action last week, we imagine this would have created an uproar. Maybe having schooled the Swedes in the finer points of soccer, the Germans were in a more charitable spirit. Pope Benedict XVI couldn't be reached for comment.

Back to school? Not quite

Sometimes when we find ourselves in a room full of Ivy Leaguers with M.B.A.s, Adages gets the bug to go back to school, to get our higher learning back on. As close readers no doubt can tell, we're no Ivy Leaguers. Heck, our undergraduate school closed down for good not too long ago and our grad school changed its name. So while carefully reading every single one of the e-mails that come across the transom, we came across an e-mail from Pam at the Marketing Results Group. It wasn't Pam's "free marketing analysis" that got our attention though; it was that Pam's program was approved by Madison Avenue College.

Madison Avenue College! Here was an offering just blocks away from the office, specializing in our industry. We were only steps away from higher earning power and new-found respect. How lucky were we?

Not so lucky, it turns out. "'Unparalleled' is the word most often used to describe the Madison Avenue College," reads copy on the institution's website. We suggest something else. Unheard of. Not a single person we spoke to in the industry had ever heard of it. So we turned to "Pam," who'd sent the original e-mail.

Well, Pam was no help. She may be many things, but human she isn't. "I'm about 120 years old, but most people would still call me a supermodel computer. I'm pretty fast, too."

Pam is a product of Marketing Results Group. And so is Madison Avenue College, which it turns out, is "a business-style, seminar-based educational program for business owners." So much for campus walks with sexy co-eds while discussing "Post-Modern Thought in 21st Century Advertising" (or raging keggers).

We did finally track down co-founder David Fritsche, who also serves as one of the instructors. Fritsche, who along with partner Robert Wilson runs both MRG and Argus Media, confirmed that MAC hasn't been widely publicized and is designed mostly for their business clients. He says they're also ramping up for a publicity push in the fall.

But that push doesn't include a football team.

Ann Coulter: Right-wing harpie or chardonnay-swilling hippie?

Despite our lack of an Ivy League education-and though we really don't want to get involved in the recent Ann Coulter noise-Adages feels it necessary to let readers in on a secret: She feeds off your screams. And so do her book sales. So pipe down, will ya? To be honest, Adages never considered Coulter anything more than a political sideshow attraction: You sort of have to look, even if you feel a little dirty after. But evil? Hardly. Then we stumbled across an interview at Jambands.com, in which reporter Taylor Hill grills Coulter on her Grateful Dead bona fides. We'll make no bones about it. The only thing worse than a hippie is a Dead Head (and those self-satisfied aging boomers in the Ameriprise commercials). But a conservative Dead Head? Conservatives should know better. Perhaps one of the most odd things about the interview, aside from the purple Crisco incident (now, there's a product plug), is the fact that Coulter's preferred adult substance at Dead shows is chardonnay. But Coulter knows her Dead, inside and out, and even claims the existence of a vast right-wing Dead fan base. (Now can we get a third party?)

The hottest man in media

It's time once again for Cosmopolitan to conduct its annual Media Man search. After a humiliating defeat last year, Adages is staying out of the fight this year. Besides, the contest is for the sausage sellers (media buyers and sellers) not the sausage makers (hard-hitting journos like yours truly). Will last year's winner-Joe Trask, of Keller Crescent, Evansville, Ind.-win again? Or will runner-up Brendan Hoey of OMD finally realize his dream? Only you can decide. Nominate your office hunk at cosmomediamen.com.

Don't send Coulter letters to kwheaton@crain.com
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