Will icons be marched to the back of the line?

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When Adages heard a rumor that the folks responsible for Advertising Week were thinking of making some changes to the Parade of Icons, we didn't know quite what to think. Unlike some of the other folks with whom we share office space, we're not that embarrassed about seeing the Kool-Aid Man and Mr. Clean ride down Madison Avenue in convertibles (though we do have issues with Gilbert "The Aflac Duck" Gottfried). The world, it seems, doesn't necessarily love a parade. At any rate, rumor had it that the icons were going to be frog-marched to the end of the week, losing their starting role. We also heard that there would be fewer events at this year's Advertising Week. But according to Advertising Week Executive Director Matt Scheckner, we were getting way ahead of ourselves. Everything at this stage is just talk, idle gossip. The program for this year hasn't been set yet, he says, though they hope to have it done by early June. Sheckner adds that they have been considering all sorts of scenarios (one includes moving the parade later in the week and allowing the public vote for favorite go on longer), but says nothing is written in stone (especially considering the small matter of city parade permits and the busy schedule of the Michelin Man). "What you will see this year is that we've listened," he promises.

Let the finger do the walking

In other mascot news, the Yellow Pages Association's Mr. Walking Fingers was down in Orlando this week at the annual Yellow Pages Association conference. And while he and the rest might get sent to the back of the line at Advertising Week, Mr. Walking Fingers was invited to the opening party and asked to pose for photos with Association President Neg Norton. We guess Fingers has gotten over Norton's earlier remark about the mascot: "It took the Yellow Pages industry more than 100 years to create a mascot and we end up with SpongeBob SquarePants' cousin." Author John Battelle and Ad Age's own Bob Garfield were at the conference to guide the industry in its pursuit of innovation and media savvy. Bored with real-people news, we asked a YPA spokeswoman if Mr. Walking Fingers had occasion to meet Garfield. Apparently, the big sponge was scared to be in the same room with him.

Behold, the stapler of bling

Domino magazine last year held a sweepstakes offering to do the winner's laundry. This year, to celebrate its first anniversary, the magazine is offering to make over one lucky agency employee's work space, whether it be an office or a closet formerly reserved for cleaning supplies (or most likely a cubicle). Three second-prize winners will snag an office organizational kit (because, you know, a kit will cure someone's complete inability to keep it together). And 10 third-prize winners will receive a Kate Spade gold leather pencil holder or a Swarovski crystal-studded stapler. Skip the pencil holder, everyone likes a good stapler. Heck, we're thinking of taking a Bedazzler to our Stanley Bostitch right this minute (our request for a red Swingline was denied). Apparently these shiny staplers, featured in a previous issue of the magazine, are reaching mythic proportions in some (small and possibly disturbed) circles. Said VP-Publisher Beth Brenner: "Look, even if you don't win the Grand Prize, you can still win that Swarovski bejeweled stapler! If you ask me, third place is the new first place!" Perhaps agency people are starting to understand the famous words of Milton Waddams when he said, "and it's not OK because if they take my stapler then I'll set the building on fire."

In the army now!

It seems that Nigerian doctor Kareem Salami may have switched professions. Oh, you know Dr. Salami. He's sent you e-mail alerting you to funds trapped in Nigeria and available to you. And all you have to do is give him your checking account number. Well, Adages has started receiving e-mail from another kind-hearted person, who is not only offering us a chance at millions, but seems to be helping the army meet its recruitment goals. And we quote: "My Name is Sgt Rita Graham , Jr. I am in the Engineering military unit here in Ba'qubah in Iraq, we have about $25 Million US dollars that we want to move out of the country. My partners and I need a good partner someone we can trust. It is oil money and legal." If we're not mistaken, the spammer's English has actually grown worse over time.

Enlist with kwheaton@crain.com
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