'Maxim' puts the long in Longoria

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Maxim just turned 100. One hundred issues, that is. Always one to act its age, Maxim is celebrating with your standard weekend-long bash in Las Vegas: poolside poker tournament at the Wynn Las Vegas Resort and Country Club, custom-banded cigars and fountains of Anheuser-Busch product. Oh, and a 75-feet by 100-feet Maxim cover featuring Eva Longoria built out in the desert. Because that, apparently, is how Maxim rolls. If you want to see it, you can go out to Vegas and drive south for 35 minutes, fly to California and look out of the window at the right moment or wait until Google Earth updates its satellite imagery. Considering the proximity to April 1, Maxim's reputation for high jinks and a recent hoax involving a giant iPod in Australia, we asked for assurances that we weren't having our leg (or both of them) pulled. Maxim swore no leg-pulling was going on.

We imagine that if aliens from outer space see this thing, they'll only be set up for disappointment. They might expect all of us to look like Longoria. Maxim, of course, isn't worried. According to Group Publisher Rob Gregory, "Maxim never worries. The aliens should worry. After Maxim takes over Earth, they will be next."

Gregory and his gang are also doing their part to help the common man rest easy. Maxim held a party last week at Macy's flagship store in New York to celebrate the release of the Maxim Living bedding collection. Despite the presence of "Saturday Night Live" cast members Seth Meyers and Jason Sudeikis, there were no jokes about sticky sheets. They did say they'd rather be promoting bedding for Maxim than The New Republic. When Adages asked the duo if they read Maxim much, Sudeikis said he always picks it up whenever he sees a copy and observed that whenever he does see a copy-whether it be the doctors office or elsewhere-it's the most thumbed-through magazine in the stack. Actually, he really said copies of Maxim usually showed signs of being "molested." That's something that many titles in today's climate could only dream about.

China does it with a smile

Adages swung by the One Club last week to check out the One Club China Student Workshops Exhibition. Good work. And good food, too-even Faith Popcorn raved about the catering. But most of the raving was about the experience that Duffy & Partners Founder Joe Duffy, One Club Marketing and Interactive Director Kevin Swanepoel and One Club Executive Director Mary Warlick had with the over 3,000 students who participated. At one point, while Warlick, Duffy and Swanepoel were being accosted by flashbulbs, we overheard Warlick say, "It's just like China," to which Duffy replied, "Yeah, but without the enthusiasm." Swanepoel remarked to us that one of the differences between Chinese students and American students is that the Chinese are "more inspired" and more willing to take direction, whereas American students typically act like they're owed a job. Said Duffy, "These kids are cool, but they aren't aloof. They wore their emotions on their sleeves. ... It was really refreshing to teach and know that things are seeping in and are really appreciated."

Adages would love to rush to the defense of American students, but we can't. We've had our own experience teaching the little ingrates. But we can't say anything about the Chinese, either. None of them were there (those pesky Chinese visa issues).

As Duffy remarked, "When was the last time you went to a creative awards presentation and none of the winners were there?"

Render unto Wildmon ...

There's money to be made in selling righteousness. The American Family Association, self-described promoter of "the Biblical ethic of decency in American society," reeled in $17.6 million in revenue last fiscal year, according to Adages' review of its latest tax return. That included $10.9 million in contributions and a $2.7 million profit on the sale of a radio station. AFA boss Donald Wildmon collected $106,567 in pay and perks (which, considering the business, isn't a great deal of money). It's a family business. Son Tim is president; AFA bought $36,056 in computer supplies from Donald's brother-in-law, who's also AFA's director of data processing; and it paid $11,830 in commissions to Donald's son-in-law, a financial adviser. Some supporters must be deadbeats: AFA paid $157,476 for bad-debt expenses on fundraising and $64,735 for credit and collections. What else? The group paid $623 for pest control.

Contributing: Bradley Johnson

Beam us up at kwheaton@crain.com
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